New ‘best in class’ ex-situ FIBxTEM lift-out system launched

New ‘best in class’ ex-situ FIBxTEM lift-out system launched

The perfect addition to any FIB or FIB-SEM laboratory, a high performance optical microscope with ultra long working distance lenses and an ‘ex-situ‘ FIBxTEM section lift-out manipulator. Go to the full product description here. Our engineers (in previous roles) configured and supplied the first version of the ex-situ lift out system to all international FIB and FIB-SEM markets for over 10 years. Now we have created a new ‘best in class’ configuration to maximise the benefits of the ex-situ approach across the widest range of materials systems. If you are not sure of the advantages of ex-situ vs in-situ, read our technical article describing all the pro’s and con’s of both techniques here. The new system configuration has been developed with the experience gained from making FIBxTEM sections from over 300 different materials systems over the last 20 years. From catalytic converters to teeth, Indium Antimonide to car paint and carbon fibre composites and nuclear fuel rod liners to aerogel, we’ve used this technique to make successful FIBxTEM sections from all these materials systems, so we know what works and more importantly, what doesn’t. Changes to the stage design, combination lighting sources and lenses, ensure that the system delivers the highest success rate possible.  In addition we have taken advantage of new manufacturing capabilities and techniques, so the system is far more economical than any other ex-situ lift-out solution which has been offered until now. Our fully capable  ‘ECO’ configuration is available for £19,650 (€24,955) with immediate delivery. To see the full product description and specifications go to the lift-out page here.  Or to get a PDF brochure click...
Agar Press Release 25th June 2014

Agar Press Release 25th June 2014

Press Release 25th June 2014 – Bristol, UK Agar Scientific and NanoScope Services sign collaborative agreement to offer advanced TEM sectioning services. NanoScope Services Ltd., a focused ion beam (FIB) and microscopy laboratory based in Bristol, UK, and Agar Scientific, a wholly owned subsidiary of Elektron Technology UK Ltd. and renowned supplier of microscopy products based in Stansted, UK, have teamed up to offer a unique section preparation service for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to materials scientists across Europe and beyond. This new FIB technique offers several key technical advantages over conventional mechanical and broad beam section preparation techniques, particularly for complex or difficult materials systems. FIB sections permit a relatively large viewing area in the TEM and may be prepared from very specific features with a minimal amount of mechanical preparation required prior to starting the process. “This new service has been specifically tailored to the needs of industrial and academic materials scientists, giving them easy access to turn-key sectioning services that can save them significant time,” said Lloyd Peto, Commercial Director at NanoScope Services. “Agar Scientific is the perfect partner for us in this market.” Darren Likely, Business Unit Director at Elektron Technology Uk Ltd., added “Agar has a terrifically wide selection of products and accessories to support our sophisticated customer base, and we are pleased to now be able to add outsourced services to this list. The TEM section preparation service from NanoScope has the technical and commercial quality that our customers have come to expect from Agar.” The new TEM section preparation service will be offered through the Agar on-line catalogue and is part of...
In-situ or Ex-situ?  Get an unbiased view on which TEM section lift-out method is best for you.

In-situ or Ex-situ? Get an unbiased view on which TEM section lift-out method is best for you.

NanoScope FIB technology article. Just posted here is the full article discussing the relative merits of both methods of FIBxTEM section extraction and the factors to consider when choosing which is better for your sample types. You may think the answer is a foregone conclusion, with in-situ foil extraction being clearly more advanced and more effective as an extraction method than ex-situ, but hold on to that thought, as there may be some less obvious issues that are worth your consideration. Included here is a detailed analysis of each of these rival techniques across the following areas of applicability – 1st      Speed – with the hands down winner being ex-situ 2nd     Yield – more controversial with advocates on both sides 3rd     Quality issues (of the section produced) 4th     Cost – a clear winner here 5th     Versatility – not such a common topic but vital for TEM users 6th     Ease of use – this must be a slam dunk or? 7th     Special circumstances Lets just check our terms and the common perception of what’s what for this technique. FIBxTEM section or foil = The site specific FIB milled sample biopsy that is FIB polished to become electron transparent and extracted to a TEM grid before being transferred to a TEM microscope for more detailed studies. ‘in-situ’ foil extraction – where a ‘thick’ biopsied section is transferred to a TEM grid inside the FIB-SEM instrument using a nano-manipulator and attached there before being FIB polished to the required ‘thinness’ and then transferred to a TEM. ‘ex-situ’ foil extraction – where a site specific feature is thinned to electron transparency BEFORE extraction, then...
FIB is cool – but what about blogging?

FIB is cool – but what about blogging?

Apparently the only two things that you should never try are folk music and incest, so blogging must surely be in the other column. Well here goes…. I’m a first generation pure FIB technologist – in that my first microscope was a Focussed Ion Beam instrument and I only learned how to use an SEM and other techniques later on. The immediacy and interactive nano-surgery capabilities of the technology, captured my interest on day one, and I’m as hooked now as I was then. Since 1992 I have been lucky enough to work for Rutherford Appleton, FEI Company (twice)- now Thermo, Micrion Corporation (now FEI), Raith GmbH and now NanoScope Services. I’ve helped develop many of the main aspects of how this technology is employed – from writing the first published FEI TEM sample prep protocol, and developing new sample holders for the 611 and FIB 800, through 3D gun-shot residue and forensic analysis and AFM tip customisation, and leading the applications initiative for using Cryo-DualBeam within the Life-Sciences. The latest major project was developing and rolling out an entirely new FIB technique for truly automated 3D nano-fabrication using ultra fine Ga+ beams now called IBL or Ion Beam Lithography for Raith GmbH (see ionLiNE ). I have become co-author on over 100 publications for this application alone. ( I don’t have time to write papers myself). FIB is cool, and everyday we get to do cool new stuff for scientists and engineers from across the Nanotech spectrum. From Circuit Edit to Solid State Nanopores and frozen Fibroblast sectioning, from VCSELs and OLED’s to GSR and FZP’s, FIB is enabling...
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