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Automated Miniature Closed Loop Five Axes Stage with Manipulator/A Miniature Closed Loop Five Axes Stage

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0015858
Agency Tracking Number: 224191
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 06
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001417
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-06-13
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-03-12
Small Business Information
9625 West 76th Street
Eden Prairie, MN 55344-3765
United States
DUNS: 825724065
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Yunje Oh
 (952) 835-6366
Business Contact
 Thomas Wyrobek
Title: Mr.
Phone: (952) 835-6366
Research Institution

The ages of men have been defined by the materials that make up the tools we use, from the ancient stone and iron ages to the modern nuclear and silicon ages. Over these ages, man’s knowledge has been built upon previous observations. The base of this materials knowledge is understanding the relationships between structure- processing-properties-performance. The top of this pyramid is systematic understanding, rather than just phenomenological observations.
To further this understanding; modern methods of structural and chemical analysis are used in correlation with each other, connecting this information to the materials properties. This correlation can be tedious and time consuming when moving samples between multiple techniques, often mounted on microscopes with vastly different probing methodologies. Rather than clogging a single microscope with all possible tools, it is often more cost and time effective to be able to move the sample between the microscopes. Here a closed-loop, miniaturized, five axes stage is proposed to aid in correlative microscopy. This stage will utilize a locking mechanism, which attaches to the microscope stage. Once the sample is mounted, the user will utilize the 3-D reference symbols, and with the aid of image correlation will calibrate the position. Reference symbols are designed to be compatible with multiple microscopy techniques, including scanning probe (AFM), optical, and scanning electron (SEM). The position reference allows for rapid calibration of the sample position in X, Y, Z, rotation and tilt using translation and rotation matrices. The total accuracy of positioning will be limited by the propagation of error in the individual positions. This stage will utilize optical closed loop encoders with resolution limits of 5 nm in X, Y, and Z, and less than 3.5 milliradians in tilt and rotation. Once the reference is defined, the user will be able to move immediately to the areas of interest via positions saved in the controller. The addition of tilt and rotation to the standard three axes is a requirement for imaging of non-planar features, such as particles, from a multitude of angles thus aiding 3-D reconstruction or to orient the sample erpendicularly towards a wide range of sources or detectors. A manipulator, planned for Phase II, will maneuver a sharpened W wire via adjustments in extension, rotation, and tilt across the sample for purposes of marking or manipulation. The W wire can also be biased such that it can be used as a voltage or current probe. The sample plane will be covered by a sealing lid, which can be closed and opened in the vacuum chamber, to prevent contamination.
The system will simplify and enhance access to multiple microscopes easing workflow and positional calibration requirements for correlating microscopy techniques. The system stability enhances usability for in situ experimentation or sample manipulation in addition to simply acting as a transferable, contamination resistant, closed loop positioning stage.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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