Those familiar with imaging with the microprobe's cousin, the scanning electron microscope, know that very little sample preparation is really required. First, the sample must be clean and dry because it will be under the instrument's vacuum. Second, it is advantageous if the sample is able to conduct electrons away from the targeted area, which generally requires a coating of relatively transparent conductive carbon. For this purpose, an easy-to-use carbon evaporator is available in the EPMA facility. However, for many aspects of qualitative analysis and especially quantitative analysis, the sample will need to be very flat ... in fact, polished, and the more flat the better.