Before examination in the SEM, non-biological samples often have to be cleaned and degreased carefully. The samples can be cleaned of contamination using solvents, ultrasound or a plasma cleaner. It is then important to dry these samples thoroughly, e.g. with compressed gas, under vacuum or in an oven. The plasma cleaner can also be used to activate, etch or coat surfaces. Vacuum-compatible double-sided adhesive tapes should be used for fixing to SEM sample holders.