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Precision and accuracy of quantitative scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) methods such as ptychography, and the mapping of electric, magnetic, and strain fields depend on the dose. Reasonable acquisition time requires high beam current and the ability to quantitatively detect both large and minute changes in signal. A new hybrid pixel array detector (PAD), the second-generation Electron Microscope Pixel Array Detector (EMPAD-G2), addresses this challenge by advancing the technology of a previous generation PAD, the EMPAD. The EMPAD-G2 images continuously at a frame-rates up to 10 kHz with a dynamic range that spans from low-noise detection of single electrons to electron beam currents exceeding 180 pA per pixel, even at electron energies of 300 keV. The EMPAD-G2 enables rapid collection of high-quality STEM data that simultaneously contain full diffraction information from unsaturated bright-field disks to usable Kikuchi bands and higher-order Laue zones. Test results from 80 to 300 keV are presented, as are first experimental results demonstrating ptychographic reconstructions, strain and polarization maps. We introduce a new information metric, the maximum usable imaging speed (MUIS), to identify when a detector becomes electron-starved, saturated or its pixel count is mismatched with the beam current.
We describe a hybrid pixel array detector (electron microscope pixel array detector, or EMPAD) adapted for use in electron microscope applications, especially as a universal detector for scanning transmission electron microscopy. The 128×128 pixel detector consists of a 500 µm thick silicon diode array bump-bonded pixel-by-pixel to an application-specific integrated circuit. The in-pixel circuitry provides a 1,000,000:1 dynamic range within a single frame, allowing the direct electron beam to be imaged while still maintaining single electron sensitivity. A 1.1 kHz framing rate enables rapid data collection and minimizes sample drift distortions while scanning. By capturing the entire unsaturated diffraction pattern in scanning mode, one can simultaneously capture bright field, dark field, and phase contrast information, as well as being able to analyze the full scattering distribution, allowing true center of mass imaging. The scattering is recorded on an absolute scale, so that information such as local sample thickness can be directly determined. This paper describes the detector architecture, data acquisition system, and preliminary results from experiments with 80–200 keV electron beams.
A confocal x-ray fluorescence microscope was built at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) to determine the composition of buried paint layers that range from 10–80 μm thick in paintings. The microscope consists of a borosilicate monocapillary optic to focus the incident beam and a borosilicate polycapillary lens to collect the fluorescent x-rays. The overlap of the two focal regions is several tens of microns in extent, and defines the active, or confocal, volume of the microscope. The capabilities of the technique were tested using acrylic paint films with distinct layers brushed onto glass slides and a twentieth century oil painting on canvas. The position and thickness of individual layers were extracted from their fluorescence profiles by fitting to a simple, semi-empirical model.
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