Public Release:  Hitachi partnership brings new tools and electron microscope reference center to Edmonton

National Institute for Nanotechnology

Edmonton, Alberta, July 12, 2011...Hitachi High Technologies and Canada's National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) today opened the Hitachi Electron Microscopy Products Centre (HEMiC) and unveiled a Hitachi H-95000 environmental transmission electron microscope (E-TEM) that is the first of its kind outside of Japan.

HEMiC will have two streams of activity: the provision of a wide range of electron microscopy services to industrial and academic clients; and a research collaboration between NINT and Hitachi researchers that will develop new electron microscope tools and techniques.

The Centre will also be a Hitachi reference site, allowing Hitachi to showcase its latest microscopes, giving potential clients from North America an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with new instruments and techniques before buying.

"HEMiC will help visitors who have been referred by Hitachi to get their brains around equipment and technology -- either the tools themselves or techniques that can help solve problems relevant to those companies," says Rick Brommeland, Project Manager for HEMiC.

HEMiC Electron Microscope Tool Set

The HEMiC tools set includes: three new Hitachi microscopes; and NINT's material science transmission electron microscope which was the first of its kind in the world.

Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM)

The Hitachi H-9500 Environmental transmission electron microscope (ETEM) can study in-situ chemical reactions of samples in liquids and gases. It will offer a very low background pressure (in the 10-8 torr region) ensuring low sample contamination rate and low effect of background gases on the in-situ experiment. Its capabilities include the possibility to heat the sample to temperatures exceeding 1500° C while exposed to various gases or study liquid samples at temperatures exceeding 300° C. The analytical capabilities of the instrument include electron energy loss spectroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry for chemical analysis. This instrument offers standard TEM imaging and diffraction capabilities allowing the investigation of sample structure and morphology.

The Hitachi HF 3300 material science TEM is an advanced 300kV TEM/STEM instrument equipped with a post-column Gatan Tridiem Image Filter (GIF). Its cold field emission gun technology delivers superior spectroscopic performance with outstanding electron interferometry capabilities. The combination of quantitative electron microscopy techniques makes this instrument unique. The excellent flexibility and stability of the microscope - both mechanically and electrically - allows researchers to push the limits of physics underlying electron microscopy and analyze difficult practical samples and problems.

Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM)

The Hitachi S-5500 is among the world's highest resolution SEM, with a resolution of 0.4nm at 30kV and 1.6nm at 1kV. It permits morphological observation down to the atomic or molecular structures of various materials, far surpassing the performance of any conventional SEM. Aside from SE and BSE imaging modes, the Duo-STEM Bright Field/Dark Field Detector allows for simultaneous imaging and adjustable collection angle.

Focused Ion Dual Beam (FIB-SEM)

The Hitachi NB5000 combines the capabilities of a field emission high resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM) and a focused ion beam (FIB) column in one instrument. This way a sample can be simultaneously sliced by FIB and analyzed by SEM, in some cases yielding three-dimensional chemical and structural information on sub-10 nm length scale. This instrument is frequently used for prototyping of various nano- and micro-mechanical devices and sensors and for site-specific sample preparation for transmission electron microscopes.

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