U.S. microscope purchase to advance study of nanostructures


U.S. Department of Energy has contracted with FEI Co. for four Titan scanning/transmission electron microscopes (S/TEMs) developed as part of the Transmission Electron Aberration-Corrected Microscope (TEAM) project. The goal of the project is to build the world’s highest resolution S/TEM, capable of direct observation and analysis of individual nanostructures at what is said to be unprecedented resolution of 0.5 Ångström, or about a third the size of a carbon atom.

The first instrument will ship to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee late this month. A second is being fitted with a chromatic aberration corrector before being sent to Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. The third and fourth will ship to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

“As the technical goals of this project are coming within reach, the prospect of using these extraordinary capabilities to explore new territory in the nanoworld is creating a great sense of anticipation in the scientific community,” said Uli Dahmen, TEAM project director.

The resolution achieved by aberration-corrected electron microscopy technology is said to generate tighter, brighter beams, yielding a stronger signal, higher image contrast, greater analytical sensitivity, and unprecedented spatial resolution. The Titan platform reportedly provides flexibility for developing component upgrades and allows researchers and industrial users to obtain optimum system performance easily and continuously.

See the July 2006 issue of Control Engineering for more on nanotechnology.

Click here to read more about TEAM.

Jeanine Katzel , senior editor, Control Engineering

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