October 09, 2005

Advanced S/TEMs and other advanced microscope makers and projects

FEI announced Aug 1, 2005 that it is shipping its new scanning/ transmission electron microscope (S/TEM), the Titan(TM) 80-300 as it publicly unveiled the new system at the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2005 Conference in Honolulu. With an all-new platform dedicated to correction and monochromator technology, the Titan S/TEM system is the world's highest resolution commercially-available microscope, yielding powerful sub-Angstrom (atomic scale) imaging and analysis.

The first shipments of the Titan 80-300 S/TEM will begin in the current fiscal quarter. Among the first customers in line for delivery include The Center for Accelerated Maturation of Materials at Ohio State University (USA), the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis of the Fritz-Haber Institute (Germany), Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (Korea), and Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo/IMP (Mexico).

Titan's dedicated platform for corrector and monochromator technologies and their applications is designed for a high degree of automation and provides ultimate stability, performance and flexibility. The microscope transfers information deep into sub-Angstrom resolution making way for the highest performance available in both transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) modes.

FEI's shipment of the Titan S/TEM marks a significant milestone in its leadership of providing the world's most powerful tools for nanotechnology. In a November 2004 news release, FEI announced that it was selected as the R&D partner for a program aimed at building the highest resolution scanning/transmission electron microscope (S/TEM) in the world. The program is headed by several regional USA laboratories that combined to form the TEAM project. This multi-year microscopy development project calls for a new microscope, based on the Titan platform, that should enable extraordinary new scientific opportunities for direct observation aimed at enabling analysis of individual nanostructures at an unprecedented resolution of 0.5 Angstrom -- approximately one-third the size of a carbon atom.

As indicated by Robert Freitas in his paper and presentation on pathways to Diamondoid manufacturing the positioning resolution and repeatability need to be 0.5 angstroms for mechanosynthesis. There is also a need for controllable end effectors.

Other leading companies with high resolution SEMs are:
Pacific Nanotechnology with their Nano-R SEM, click for specifications and information.

Queensgate Instruments who makes custom nanoposition solutions there nanomechanism descriptions are here.

Physik Instrumente is also a leader in nanopositioning systems

Japan Electron Optics Lab also has aberration corrected devices.

A Microscope technology project that FEI company is involved in is the Transmission Electron Aberration-corrected Microscope (TEAM) project funded by the Department of Energy for $100 million and being run out of the national labs.

The intention of the project is to develop a transmission electron microscope capable of half an angstrom (0.05 nanometres or 0.5 x 10−10 metres) resolution, about half the size of a hydrogen atom. As electron microscope lenses normally produce a significant amount of aberration, a complex system of lenses to correct the aberrated images is required.

the National center for Electron Microscopy is at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The projects that they have to improve electron microscopy are listed here The
official TEAM project page is here. Other microscopy links.

there is advanced microscopy work at the SuperSTEM facility in the UK and at least two other european locations Scientists can rent time on the SuperSTEM at about 2000 pounds per day.

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