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A newly designed, 100 mm2, silicon drift detector has been installed on an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope equipped with an ultra-high resolution pole piece, without requiring column modifications. With its unique, windowless design, the detector’s active region is in close proximity to the sample, resulting in a dramatic increase in count rate, while demonstrating an increased sensitivity to low energy X-rays and a muted tilt dependence. Numerous examples of X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry are presented on relevant materials such as AlxGa1−xN nanowires, perovskite oxides, and polycrystalline CdTe thin films, across both varying length scales and accelerating voltages.
Recent advances in silicon drift detector (SDD) design have set a new benchmark for Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Not only do these detectors offer all the benefits users have come to expect from SDD—high count rates, liquid nitrogen-free analysis and excellent resolution—but large active areas and unique technology allow the user to collect EDS data at normal imaging beam currents and lower accelerating voltages in seconds.
Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (EDS) has been used for many years to analyse the chemical composition of materials. Historically, EDS detectors used a bulk silicon crystal drifted with lithium. Although such Si(Li) detectors had exceptionally good performance, they had limited count rate capability and operated at very low temperatures thus requiring cooling with liquid nitrogen.
Training by an instrument manufacturer is provided at various levels, ranging from basic operation requirements of instrumentation to high level courses for specific advanced level applications and integrated solutions.
Initial training usually is in the form of an initial familiarization performed by the installation engineer, and subsequent training is given at training courses at the instrument company laboratory or, in some instances, at the customer site. Manufacturer training can be required on different levels from initiation to basic techniques and operation of the instrumentation to advanced courses for specific applications. Although basic theory is present at the start of a course, the overall aim is to provide practical expertise on an operational level. It is encouraged that customers who are new to the techniques presented may avail themselves of more theoretically orientated courses available at universities and other private institutes.
Scanning electron microscopes have traditionally been used for observation and microanalysis of samples. Positioning and testing of samples has usually been performed out of the SEM chamber e.g. electrical test benches, sample preparation. However, due to miniaturization in semiconductor technology, optics, micro-mechanics, medicine, gene- and biotechnology, highly precise positioning techniques are becoming increasingly important. This may be performed using an optical microscope, or more commonly, within the SEM chamber itself.