2009 R&D 100 Winner
The Magellan XHR SEM marks an attempt by FEI Company, Hillsboro, Ore., to make sub-nanometer scanning electron microscopy (SEM) resolution accessible to non-experts and without restrictions on samples or difficult operational requirements—constraints that have previously limited the utility and acceptance of other high resolution systems. The Magellan XHR SEM images samples at very low beam energies, avoiding distortions otherwise caused by the beam penetrating into the material below. The instrument’s low-voltage operation allows it to provide detailed images down to < 0.9 nm of complex external 3-D surfaces. The Magellan features integrated new electron optical elements and proprietary electron gun technology that offer 10 times the current stability of cold field emission guns. The technology is based on a Schottky emission gun, but features better energy spread (< 0.2 eV) than cold field emission guns. In addition, this SEM has a five-axis piezo-ceramic stage and a configurable analytical chamber. The stage accommodates large samples or multiple smaller samples.
Scanning electron microscope