Sharp tips for various modern microscopies, such as field-ion microscopy (FIM) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), can be prepared by electropolishing in solutions which are relatively innocuous for the environment as well as the researcher, compared to the often hazardous solutions still in widespread use. We have made measurements of polishing times as a function of solution and voltage parameters and we report conditions for electropolishing sharp tips of Pt, Ir, Au, Pd, and Rh using relatively benign solutions. (C) 1995 American Vacuum Society.
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