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A High Accuracy Mechanism for the Rotation of Electron Microscopy Samples

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Hummingbird Precision Machine Co
2610 Willamette Drive NE Suite A Lacey, WA 98516-1329
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: A High Accuracy Mechanism for the Rotation of Electron Microscopy Samples
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-05ER84235
Award Amount: $99,936.00


78128S Transmission electron microscopy is uniquely able to image the internal structure of materials at resolutions in the nanometer to sub-Angstrom scale, and as such is a primary tool in materials science and nanotechnology research. Crucial to obtaining these images, however, is the ability to precisely orient the sample with respect to the incident high-energy electron beam. Existing solutions to this problem are based on older technology, and have insufficient resolution, precision, accuracy, and stability to easily and reproducibly create images that take full advantage of recent advances in electron optics. This project will design, construct, and test a new methodology for precisely tilting samples within the objective lens region of the electron microscope. The design is based on standard principles in high-precision robotics, including a rotational friction drive, precise piezoactuation, and careful materials selection. Phase I will design, manufacture, and test a mechanism to provide precise angular tilts of samples within the confined volume of an electron microscope┬┐s objective lens region (~10 mm3). Choice of piezoactuator, materials selection and design envelops will be tested to determine optimum tilt range, precision, accuracy and stability of the mechanism. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The sample manipulation approach should provide sufficiently high resolution, precision, accuracy and stability to allow researchers in nanotechnology and materials science to fully exploit recent gains in resolution in advanced electron microscopes. These images are used routinely to guide discoveries in nanoscience and materials development, and form a critical component in the semiconductor failure analysis market.

Principal Investigator:

Mark Scheeff

Business Contact:

Norman J. Salmon
Small Business Information at Submission:

Hummingbird Scientific, Llc
PO Box 7366 Olympia, WA 98507

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No