The 5 axes, X, Y, Z, rotation and tilt, of the macro stage give the flexibility to analyse all types of samples, not only flat surfaces. Rotation and tilt can be used to align any surface element for a perfect secondary ion extraction into the analyser. The horizontal sample holder is important for the analysis of powders and other materials which are otherwise difficult to mount.
The 100 mm x 80 mm sample holders are very flexible. They can carry one or a number of samples up to the size of anything which will fit through the 100 mm gate valve and which is not thicker than 20 mm. Flat regular shaped specimens are mounted and held in window frames of various dimensions from underneath the holder, and irregular shaped samples are easily mounted on the top with clips or double-sided sticky tape.
Unattended large area or multiple sample analysis can be carried out with the automated stage.
If specimen heights change, automated sample focus can be programmed into the batch sequence. This would not be possible without automated Z movement.