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...
New plastic package decapsulation capability launching soon.

New plastic package decapsulation capability launching soon.

            NanoScope is bringing additional capabilities in house – from Unisem. Unisem has been a key supplier for NanoScope Services for many years, and we have worked closely together to offer our clients the best support available from both sites. The unfortunate recent closure of the Unisem Crumlin site has been widely seen as a reduction in the strategic capabilities of the UK semiconductor industry, both in terms of the equipment available but also the extensive experience of the engineers who worked there. However, NanoScope has been successful in acquiring much of the FA capability of the Unisem facility and we are now in the process of transferring this equipment over to our Bristol Laboratory. We plan to offer Dual-acid decapsulation from early February 2014, with even shorter turnaround times than previously, with other techniques to follow. For more information please contact Lloyd Peto at NanoScope on 07768 172049 Or email...
Accelerating MEMS development with FIB Nano-Surgery

Accelerating MEMS development with FIB Nano-Surgery

In this article I will be discussing why the growth in MEMS development is lagging the growth that was witnessed for IC development in many respects – but highlighting that there are valuable lessons available to accelerate future growth too.Both for design and manufacture there are non-trivial challenges that continue to hinder the growth of this technology in the way IC technology developed. The emergence of Fabless MEMS design houses as a successful model is only just starting to expand. The promise of successfully mimicking Fabless Chip design houses as a functioning corporate model, has not happened as expected. Fabless growth is limited by many factors such as an absence of standardisation, a diverse range of foundry capabilities, and also that MEMS behavioural modelling is still the poor cousin of IC modelling.Independent MEMS foundries are also struggling to mimic the growth seen by their IC brethren. The lack of standardisation and the variety of FAB processes required to support a broad spectrum of MEMS designs, continues to be a hindrance. Routine volume based profits available from a dial-up/high yield/integrated process are proving elusive. Every MEMS Foundry is offering a different toolset and process book, and yields/costs can still be variable. Because the range of applications is so diverse, it is difficult to streamline or standardise the manufacturing process for clients supporting different markets. There are no ‘off the shelf’ processes that can be equally applied to devices as varied as a microphone and a gyroscope, and the old adage of ‘1 process/1 product’ is proving to be difficult to overcome. This situation is further complicated by the introduction of MEMS...
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