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Device for High Resolution Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy in a Scanning Electron Microscope



Technical Challenge:

Most scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) images are expensive, requires a skilled operator, and substantial laboratory space and upkeep. This invention extends the range of magnification available to typical scanning electron microscope (SEMs), while providing a small, inexpensive, easy- to- use device that can be used inside the facility instead of paying for expensive outside STEM services.


Typically, scanning transmission electron images can only be obtained in a very expensive and exotic instrument such as STEMs. This invention allows very high resolution scanning transmission electron microscope images to be obtained in an ordinary scanning electron microscope (SEM) without any significant modifications. Essentially, the invention is a small, easily constructed, self-contained device that can be inserted and removed from a SEM like any other sample holder that converts an ordinary SEM into a STEM.

Demonstration Capability:

A prototype has been assembled and tested.

Potential Commercial Application(s):

Commercial semiconductor fabrication facilities may be interested in this technology

Patent Status:

Issued: United States Patent Number 6,777,678 (Updated)

Reference Number: 1288

If you are interested in exploring this technology further, please express your interest in writing to the:

National Security Agency
NSA Technology Transfer Program
9800 Savage Road, Suite 6541
Fort George G. Meade, Maryland 20755-6541


Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Reviewed: Jan 15 2009