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Stretching the Limits of In Situ Microscopy with the Quattro ESEM

The new Thermo Scientific Quattro Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM), with its wide range of unique research capabilities, is now fully operational at Ohio State's Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS). The Quattro is equipped with extensive analytical and in situ capabilities. The instrument’s field emission gun (FEG) allows for high resolution imaging of samples with numerous available detector options: The standard Everhart Thornley detector (ETD) and low vacuum detectors can be used for secondary electron imaging, a retractable directional backscatter detector for phase and channeling contrast, and a retractable STEM detector for ultra-high-resolution imaging of electron-transparent samples. Low vacuum imaging up to 4000 Pa is possible in the available ESEM mode, along with other tunable ‘real world’ temperature, humidity, and partial pressure chamber conditions.

photo of Thermo Scientific Quattro ESEM - mounted sampleSample mounted in the Kammrath-Weiss tensile/compression module at 70 degrees for EBSD analysis under load.One of the many new capabilities the Quattro ESEM brings to CEMAS is the ability to do in situmechanical characterization of samples in a variety of environmental conditions. The Kammrath-Weiss tensile compression module is equipped with load cells of 1 N and 5 kN. These tests can be coupled with analytical techniques such as energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis, along with heating up to 800 °C and imaging under low-vacuum conditions. EBSD capabilities include the newly-released EDAX Velocity camera, used for dynamic in situacquisition of maps at up to 4500 fps, a fraction of the time of older generation EBSD cameras.

Additional capabilities available on the Quattro ESEM for multimodal analysis of samples include a Horiba full-spectrum cathodoluminescence system with detectors sensitivity from 200-2200 nm, a dedicated heating stage that allows for heating up to 1100 °C, a cryo stage for imaging down to liquid nitrogen temperatures, unique cooling stages that can be combined with ESEM capabilities high pressure (up to 4000 Pa) enabling imaging in liquid water environments. By utilizing electrical feedthroughs for more imaging signals (custom detectors and stages such as EBIC), we continue to add numerous other capabilities to the Quattro. More information about the Quattro can be found here. Funding for the Quattro ESEM was through an NSF MRI award, along with additional funding from Ohio State, and the Ohio Department of Education.

This equipment was funded through National Science Foundation (NSF) award 1726319, The Ohio State University, and the Ohio Department of Education.

photo of Thermo Scientific Quattro ESEM at Ohio State's CEMASOverview of the Quattro ESEM A) Stage chiller for cooling and heating stages, B) EDAX Octane Elect EDS detector for elemental composition, C) EDAX Velocity EBSD camera for grain orientation, D) Retractable backscatter detector, E) Everhart-Thornley Detector, F) Fast beam blanker, G) Low-vac detector for charging samples and environmental conditions, H) Retractable STEM detector for high resolution and WetSTEM imaging, I) Electron column, J) Specimen Chamber that can hold large samples, K) Horiba full spectrum cathodoluminescence detector consisting of: mirror box, panchromatic detector, multiple gratings, CCD and InGaAs detectors. L) Load lock for cryo applications, M) Cryo cleaner for high resolution imaging, N) Electrical feedthroughs for custom detection schemes, O) CryoMAT for cryogenic imaging stage, P) Kammrath-Weiss tensile/compression stage controller, and Q) Instrument and accessory computers


Tags: Research