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Electron Microscopy and Microcharacterization


Electron microscopy and microcharacterization capabilities are important in the materials sciences and are used in numerous research projects funded by the Department. Grant applications are sought to develop components and accessories of electron microscopes that will significantly enhance the capabilities of the electron-based microcharacterization, including improved spatial and temporal resolution in imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy with and without applied stimuli (e.g., temperature, stress, electromagnetic field, and gaseous or liquid environment):

Stages and holders that provide new capabilities for in situ transmission electron microscopy experiments in liquid, gaseous, optoelectronic and/or other extreme environments that also provide capability for simultaneous spectroscopy.

New electron sources that can operate in pulsed modes to femtosecond frequencies. Of particular interest are laser-assisted field emission guns for application to pulsed mode operation as a single purpose apparatus for time-resolved diffraction experiment, or incorporated into a conventional electron microscope to achieve more versatile capabilities. Proposed solutions must demonstrate point-source-emitter capability.

Ultra-high energy resolution and collection efficiency x-ray, electron loss, and/or optical spectrometers compatible with transmission electron microscopy. Analytical electron energy loss spectroscopy approaches include systems able to achieve high energy resolution (10 meV or better), high energy dispersion (>25mm/eV), efficient trapping of the zero-loss-peak (ZLP) so that spectra at energies <1eV will not be dominated by the ZLP “tail”. Energy dispersive spectroscopy approach of interest should include efficient detector materials and improved geometry for maximum signal collection. Single electron detector arrays facilitating ultra high speed counting for electron spectroscopy (~ nanosecond) are of particular interest.

High efficiency and high sensitivity electron detectors. Approaches of interest include CMOSbased electron detectors for high-resolution imaging, detectors with a wide dynamic range (16-20bit) for electron diffraction, and secondary electron detectors for surface imaging.

Systems for automated data collection, processing, and quantification in TEM and/or STEM. Approaches of interest should include (1) hardware and platform-independent software for data collection and visualization, (2) automated measurement and mapping of crystallography, internal magnetic or electric field, or strain, and (3) multi-spectral analysis. Proposed solutions must be demonstrated in TEM or STEM mode.

Questions – contact Jane Zhu,

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