The SPARC is a high-performance cathodoluminescence detection system that provides users with unique ease-of-use capabilities, as well as the ability to be retrofitted onto any scanning electron microscope (SEM). The sensitivity and user-friendly characteristics of the SPARC allow for this system to benefit any applied cathodoluminescence application.
The SPARC has a unique high-precision mirror stage that allows for various other research avenues, such as electron beam-induced nanophotonics, to also benefit from the use of this instrument. Another notable component that sets the SPARC apart from other cathodoluminescence detectors is its angle-resolved mode.
As an excellent choice to achieve the optimal collection and detection of cathodoluminescence emission, the SPARC rapidly provides users with highly sensitive material characterization data at the nanoscale.
The SPARC is currently being used in numerous research applications around the world, of which include optics, material science and geology.
About the SPARC Compact
DELMIC now produces a compact version of the SPARC for researchers with more specific needs, the SPARC Compact. Without compromising on high performance, it is a small-scale version of the SPARC cathodoluminescence system for researchers in materials science and geology who require intensity measurements by a photomultiplier tube.
High End Research
The SPARC is an ideal tool for analyzing spectroscopic data at the nanoscale. The SPARC can be easily integrated with an SEM to allow users to easily compare cathodoluminescence imaging with data acquired from SEM detection systems, such as EBSD, EBIC and BSD. This combined approach allows users to achieve full in-situ characterization of their sample.
A vacuum port is used to mount the hardware in a way that is minimally invasive for the SEM. This process, which requires less than five minutes to complete, allows the SEM to successfully return to its full original configuration.
Automated Alignment Procedure
The automated alignment feature is a unique and precise aspect of the SPARC that supports the user-friendly nature of this system. An aluminum paraboloid collection mirror, which has an ultraflat surface, enhances photon yield to allow for high quality angle-resolved imaging processes to be easily achieved.
Motorized Mirror Stage
The SPARC’s mirror, which is mounted onto a motorized high-precision stage, is responsible for maintaining reproducible alignment between experiments. All results can therefore be reliably and quantitatively compared to other acquired measurements.
Full Experimental Freedom
The open-source software and modular nature of the SPARC offers full experimental freedom and guarantees a future-proof setup that is easy to upgrade to all cathodoluminescence imaging modularities.
Various Imaging Modes
A fast analog PMT detector can be used for large-scale imaging. This allows for the rapid inspection of large areas, perfect for geological applications, fast device inspection, and efficient region-of-interest finding. A filter wheel can be used for spectral differentiation.
Angle-Resolved Cathodoluminescence Spectroscopy
The SPARC provides the unique option to acquire angle-resolved images. Rather than focusing the light signal on a fiber or narrow opening, an image of the mirror can be projected onto an imaging camera.
Allowing for the detection of the directionality of the emitted light, also known as momentum spectroscopy. In this mode, a filter wheel is used to spectrally distinguish the different emission wavelengths.
When this instrument is used in its spectral mode, light that is reflected from the mirror is focused on a slit or fiber that is connected to a Czerny-Turner spectrograph. Several different imaging detectors can analyze this reflected light at any wavelength within the range of 200 to 1600 nm. Since the e-beam is scanned across the sample, the SPARC system can create spatially-resolved hyperspectral images.
Using a polarizer or even a full polarimeter in the angle-resolved mode allows for the reconstruction of the polarization state (Stokes vector) of CL for different emission angles.
An advanced correction for the optical system including the paraboloid mirror is needed for this reconstruction. This is provided with the polarization system.
Time-Resolved Cathodoluminescence Imaging
When the Lab Cab module add-on is incorporated into the standard SPARC spectral system, users can perform g(2), lifetime imaging, as well as observe the time dynamics of a various types of nanomaterials.
Time-resolved imaging is highly relevant for a wide range of applications, including semiconductors for photovoltaics and light-emitting devices, as well as single emitters for quantum information processing and sensing.
About the ODEMIS Software
The ODEMIS software package can be used with any Delmic microscopes to perform analysis of imaging workflows. The combination of this open-source acquisition software with the modular approach of the Delmic instruments provides a unique, versatile and user-friendly solution that can be utilized for a wide range of research purposes.
ODEMIS Software Features
The ODEMIS software offers a wide variety of powerful tools that are capable of improving imaging workflow processes. Of these tools include peak fitting, immediate polar plotting, export functionality and drift collection. Expert users can also benefit from the Python’s scripting interface by acquiring full control of the hardware and imaging algorithms.
SEM Cathodoluminescence Imaging with High-Performance
Zircon imaged with SEM cathodoluminescence
PMT image of quartz in sandstone
PMT intensity image of zircon grains. Samples courtesy of Prof. Jens Jahren, University of Oslo
Automated alignment photon yield
SPARC SEM cathodoluminescence imaging
Fast-intensity mapping SEM cathodoluminescence
Angle-resolved SEM cathodoluminescence spectroscopy
Hyperspectral SEM cathodoluminescence imaging
SEM cathodoluminescence polarimetry
Time-resolved cathodoluminescence imaging