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ZEISS ULTRA plus - Breakthrough in Ultra-High-Resolution Imaging of Non-Conductive Samples

Published on August 8, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Carl Zeiss SMT presents at Microscopy & Analysis 2007 its newly developed “ULTRA plus” Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with unique technology for charge compensation of non-conductive samples. For the first time, high resolution, stable and noise-free images from samples such as ceramics, polymers, fibre optics and many more can be obtained even at high acceleration voltage and high probe current. This technological advancement was specifically developed for satisfying increasing customer demands in analytical research, development and testing of advanced materials. For the purpose of charge neutralization, a proprietary gas-injection system enables for a local flush application of an inert gas. Thereby, electrostatic charging of samples is neutralized and detection of secondary electrons (SE) as well as backscattered electrons (BSE) becomes feasible. Numerous applications in life sciences, materials analysis and semiconductors will profit from this development.

Complete detection system in ULTRA plus

Using the new proprietary gas-injection system, both the use of the unique in-lens SE detector as well as the in-lens EsB detector (Energy selective Backscattered) of the industry-proven ZEISS ULTRA field-emission SEM becomes possible. Thereby, for the first time non-conductive samples can be investigated in the ULTRA not only under low-voltage imaging conditions, but also at high voltage and high probe current to use the full functionality of the leading ULTRA microscope capabilities. Together with the AsB (Angle selective Backscattered) detector for low-angle backscattered electrons revealing orientation contrast as well as the chamber-mounted Everhart Thornley detector for topographical contrast, the ULTRA plus offers a complete detection system for all applications on conductive as well as non-conductive samples.

Wide variety of customer specific configurations

For meeting the various customer demands, the new and unique ULTRA plus system can be adapted to a wide variety of system specifications. There is optionally a 80 mm load lock available with a pump time of as little as 30 seconds. Also available will be a 6-axes super eucentric motorized stage with a location repeatability of 1µm. A very useful system feature is a 100µm beam shift, which allows the investigation of a rather large field of view without moving the sample mechanically. The OptiProbe mode enables a continuous adjustment of the beam current from 12 pA to 40 nA. Moreover, the so-called quiet mode enables switching off the vacuum prepump, allowing for up to 40% savings in power consumption.

The ULTRA plus system will be available as of October 2007.

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