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Electron Microscopy Sciences

Technical Data Sheets

Triaphan Replicating Sheets

EMS Catalog #50421-10

Electron Microscopic Specimen Preparation Triafol Replicas

This is a direct replacement for Triafol


The Triafol technique is a method for making electron microscopic specimens which corresponds to a great extent to the indirect replica method described by Mahl and Konig. Triafol foil (trade name for acetobutyrate foil) Instead of varnish composed of pyroxylin and amyl acetate is used for taking replicas. The preparation time is thereby greatly reduced while the quality of the substances remains the same. Whereas pyroxylin-amylacetate (zaponlac) replicas may not be removed from the base until they have dried for 10 hours, the fast drying Triafol foils may be removed after only 3 to 5 minutes, without having to expect deformations. The entire preparation process from taking the replica to finished specimen requires approximately two hours.

Mode of Operation:

For reproducing smooth and moderately rough surfaces, foil of 0.04 mm thickness is suitable while 0.1 mm Triafol foil should be used for rougher surfaces. Depending on the size of the surface to be replicated, cut small foil pieces and clean carefully with a soft brush removing any adhering particles. Wet the preparation spot, which is to be replicated, with a few drops of acetone p. A. (spray from a fine glass capillary tube). If too much solvent is used, there is the danger that the thin foil expands too much and then tears when it is removed. Before the solvent can evaporate apply the Triafol foil to the specimen surface with as little pressure as possible and wet the foil with acetone. Always use the dull side of the foil for taking replicas. The dried Triafol replica can be removed from the base after 3 to 5 minutes.

Coat the foil with a thin metal or metal oxide layer in an evaporation unit, such as the vacuum evaporation device VBG 500, cat. no.172 502. S10 and C-Pt proved to be suitable as evaporation materials.

After oblique shadowing (angle 15 to 25° for smooth objects, 30 to 45° for rough objects) and application of a very thin vertical vaporization layer, coat the foil on the vaporized side with a paraffin film of approximately 0.3 mm thickness in order to render the thin vaporization layer more solid. This layer can easily tear during the subsequent solution process because the lacquer expands greatly when it enters into contact with a solvent. When the molten paraffin (melting point approximately 52 to 53°C) is applied from an open glass tube, make sure that no paraffin is applied to the back of the foil.

Online Ordering

Triphan Replicating Sheets are available online from the EMS Catalog. For ordering or product information, click here.