Surface Preparation Laboratory
Rosbayerweg 163
1521 RW Wormerveer
The Netherlands
 +31-75 612 0501
 +31-75 612 0491
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Laboratory tour

Crystal growth

Our metal crystals are grown in-house using the Czochralski method, or the Bridgeman and floating zone techniques. We exclusively use the purest of raw materials supplied by the worlds leading material suppliers.

Electrode fabrication

Electrodes for spark erosion are custom made according to your crystal design. Copper tube and copper wire are used as counterelectrodes for spark eroding the crystal in shape.

Spark erosion

Crystals are shaped using spark erosion. This process is free of any mechanical contact, and thereby leaves the lattice structure of the crystals fully intact.

X-ray alignment

The crystals that we produce are aligned using one of our two state of the art X-ray laue diffraction cameras to within 0.1 degrees precision. The alignment is also repeatedly verified during polishing to confirm that the alignment of the crystal is within the requested specifications.


Polishing removes any residual lattice deformations that may exist from e.g. fine grinding. As we proceed to polish using finer grain sizes, the crystallinity of the near-surface region of the crystal is rigorously checked to ensure you have the best possible starting point for further in-situ preparation.


We take great care in our packaging and shipping so that it will survive the handling during transport.

Our crew

René Koper founded SPL in 1996 when working at the FOM Institute in Amsterdam. He is a fine-mechanical engineer who has worked for various research groups in surface science prior to starting his business. He currently refines our crystal growth setups and still polishes many a crystal. Raoul van Gastel joined SPL in 2013 as a scientist after tenures at the University of Leiden, Sandia National Labs and the University of Twente. He runs the daily operation of the business and grows SPL's crystals.