The Lehigh University is presently offering direct access to top of the line electron microscopes at ORNL via the Internet for one graduate and one undergraduate course (Advanced TEM, Electron Microscopy & Microanalysis). The students at Lehigh have the opportunity to themselves control the Hitach HF-2000 FEG TEM. The controls presently include change of magnification and focus, moving the sample and correction for astigmatism. In this way, the students can collect high resolution lattice images of various materials and study e.g., the effects of changing focus on lattice images (contrast reversal). While the students at Lehigh can sit in the class room and run the instrument in broad daylight and communicate freely without disturbing the instrument by phonics, the instrument itself is protected from misuse through several layers of hardware and software.
This new way of teaching EM courses has become possible through recent advances in computer hardware (live-time Fourier transforms (FFTs)) and software. A commercial software package TimbuktuPro provides remote access to the computer at the HF-2000 at ORNL which controls the instrument as well as the slow-scan CCD-cameras (Gatan, model 794) attached to the instrument.