New Electron Microscope that can Produce Atomic Resolution Elements Maps in Minutes

Published on August 8, 2011 at 10:52 AM

FEI Company (NASDAQ: FEIC), a leading instrumentation company providing electron microscope systems for applications in research and industry, today announced the release of its Titan G2 80-200 with ChemiSTEM Technology, a new member of the Titan G2 series of S/TEM (scanning / transmission electron microscopes).

"By combining the Titan platform's latest generation of electron optics with the revolutionary analytical sensitivity of ChemiSTEM Technology, we have created a microscope which can deliver atomic resolution elemental maps in minutes and adds new capabilities in addressing our customer's applications in materials science, chemistry and nanotechnology," said Trisha Rice, vice president and general manager of of FEI's Research Business Unit.

FEI's Titan™ G2 80-200 with ChemiSTEM™ Technology.

Dr. Paul Kotula of Sandia National Laboratories, said "Our institute chose the FEI Titan G2 80-200 due to its innovative combination of the latest in probe-correction technology and large solid-angle, windowless silicon-drift x-ray detectors (SDD's). We estimate that we will gain a factor of 50 to 100 in terms of analytical sensitivity, speed, and spatial resolution combined, over our existing FEG analytical electron microscope. It is already clear that atomic resolution x-ray microanalysis is not only possible but practical with this new microscope. Once the domain only of electron energy loss spectrometry, atomic resolution microanalysis with x-rays gives us access to more of the periodic table and the possibility to use existing quantification methods to routinely analyze many materials at the highest resolution and sensitivity needed." Sandia National Laboratory will soon receive its Titan G2 80-200 with ChemiSTEM Technology, the first such system to be installed in North America.

Rice continued, "This new microscope benefits from all the innovations of the Titan G2 series, including the X-FEG high brightness gun and the next-generation DCOR probe corrector, acheiving spatial resolution of 0.8 Angstroms in STEM and 0.9 Angstroms in TEM, while still maintaining a large, more flexible working space in the sample area, enabling applications requiring high specimen tilt-angles. For example, this large tilt-range, when combined with ChemiSTEM Technology's symetrically distributed 4-SDD detector architecture permits EDX Tomography. Thus, for the first time ever 3D elemental composition can be obtained with standard FIB-prepared lamella samples mounted in standard holders in an S/TEM."

The Titan G2 80-200's extraordinary analytical speed and sensitivity result from the FEI proprietary ChemiSTEM Technology, including the X-FEG (an ultra-stable high-brightness Schottky FEG source), the high sensitivity Super-X EDX detector system (4 windowless silicon drift detectors integrated deeply into the objective lens), and high-speed mapping electronics capable of acquiring 100,000 spectra/second. In addition, the high detection efficiency of ChemiSTEM Technology and the availability of the highest probe currents of any microscope allow atomic elemental mapping capability to be maintained over the entire accelerating voltage range of 200 kV down to 80 kV, which can help maximize signal and reduce sample damage in beam senstive materials.

"Due to these innovations," Rice added, "this new microscope has the potential to solve problems in material science research that have previously been difficult or impossible to address, such as analyzing atomic species polarity and atomic chemical termination at interfaces, measuring trace elemental concentrations as low as 0.01 wt%, mapping chemical composition over large fields of view, and determining elemental composition in three dimensions. We believe the Titan G2 80-200 with ChemiSTEM Technology will enable breakthough results in many key application areas for our customers, such as catalysis, metallurgy, microelectronics, LEDs, and green energy materials, to name a few."

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