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CNST Adding Major Capabilities for Transmission Electron Microscopy

For Immediate Release: December 7, 2009

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Contact: Renu Sharma
301-975-2418

The CNST has recently awarded contracts with FEI Company for two Transmission Electron Microscope systems that will bring significant new capabilities to both the NanoFab and the CNST Research Program. The NanoFab will be receiving a Titan 80-300 300 keV analytical TEM with both x-ray and imaging electron energy loss analytical capabilities. This TEM, which will be accessible to all NanoFab facility users, will enable atomic lattice-scale imaging and analysis of a wide range of samples. It will be installed in June 2010 in a specialized laboratory space in Bldg. 216. The CNST Research Program will be obtaining NIST’s first Environmental [Scanning] TEM, or E[S]TEM, also based on an FEI Titan 80-300, to be located adjacent to the NanoFab TEM and accessible to other researchers through collaboration. This instrument will have a high-brightness, monochromatic source, spherical aberration correction of the objective lens, and a state of the art imaging energy filter with an energy resolution of 0.2 eV. It will permit atomic-scale, real-time imaging and analysis of catalytic material processes, such as carbon nanotube growth, under high-temperatures (up to 900 °C) and pressures (up to 2000 Pa = 15 Torr). This research instrument will be developed by Renu Sharma, who recently joined the CNST from Arizona State University, where she pioneered the development of environmental cell TEM. Renu recently made an extended visit to Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, the Technical University of Denmark, where she evaluated the functioning and advantage of image correctors and monochromators on E[S]TEM systems in preparation for the development of new TEM capabilities at the CNST.