Together with several pilot customers, Carl
Zeiss has started application development for correlative microscopy in
materials analysis and performed the initial installations of the platform Shuttle+Find.
The focus of attention is the analysis of structures (e.g. polished sections),
fractures, and particles. The seamless interaction of light and electron microscopes
delivers time and cost benefits for all these applications. In many cases, the
planned examinations are only possible at all through an interface for correlative
Scientists at the ZHAW Institute of Materials and Process Engineering in Winterthur,
Switzerland, for example, have been tasked with describing as precisely as possible
the “ausferritic” structure of a bainitic spheroidal graphite cast
iron and with analyzing precipitations and material inclusions. Scientist Christof
Scherrer explains: “Particularly with large polished samples with structural
components in the micrometer range (high magnifications), correlative microscopy
is the only way to relocate the same locations without doubt." Because
of its special properties such as tensile strength and wear resistance (hardness),
this material is used for gears and the parts of combustion engines, for example.
Presented for the first time at the Microscopy Conference in Graz, Austria,
at the beginning of September, the Shuttle&Find interface for correlative
microscopy in materials analysis is a joint development of the Light Microscopy,
Electron Microscopy and Central Research divisions of Carl Zeiss. “This
development was very well received in Graz, and generated many helpful suggestions
which have now been implemented," says Project Manager Martin Edelmann.
Shuttle&Find is an easy-to-use interface for the transfer of specimens
and images between a light and an electron microscope. It connects upright and
inverted light microscopes of type SteREO Discovery, Axio Imager and Axio Observer
featuring a motorized stage with all current ZEISS scanning electron microscopes
as well as with the ZEISS CrossBeam workstations (a combi- nation of scanning
electron microscope and a focused ion beam for material processing). The main
task of the interface is to relocalize with high precision in the electron microscope
the regions of interest marked in the light microscope (and vice versa). It
is also possible to overlay the images from the two different systems.
In parallel to the first successful pilot installations, Shuttle&Find will
also be commercially available.