September 3, 2008: FEI Co., a provider of atomic-scale imaging and analysis systems, has released its new extreme field emission gun (X-FEG) electron source module for the Titan family of scanning transmission electron microscopes (S/TEMs).
The new technology combines higher brightness — previously available only with more complex cold field emission — with the high, ultra-stable current of thermally-assisted field emission. This combination provides improvements in resolution, speed, sensitivity and ease of use to the Titan.
“The X-FEG’s combination of high-brightness and high-stability beam current provides benefits to users at all levels over the full spectrum of TEM applications,” said Rob Fastenau, FEI’s EVP of marketing and technology, in a statement. “It increases throughput, improves resolution without adding complexity to the optical system, and eliminates cleaning and maintenance procedures required by cold field emitters. For those using spherical aberration correctors and/or monochromators, it provides additional gains in resolution, precision and sensitivity. In the most advanced uses, the X-FEG can be combined with sophisticated experimental technologies, such as chromatic or spherical aberration correctors or low accelerating voltages, to explore the ultimate limits of S/TEM performance.”
The X-FEG can be fitted to any Titan TEM and provides benefits above and beyond those of correctors and monochromators already installed. Initial shipments of the new source are planned for the first quarter of 2009.
HR-TEM image of a partially filled single-wall carbon nanotube at 80kV acceleration voltage using a monochromator gun with X-FEG on a Titan with image Cs corrector (1 s). The high brightness of the X-FEG allows for atomic resolution imaging at 80kV with short exposure times. (Source: FEI, courtesy of Prof. N. Kiselev, Institute of Crystallography, Moscow, Russia)