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College of Engineering

New Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope Proposal

Schematic of the microscope interior with specimen chamber, gun, pump, and gas valve marked.

Basic ESEM gas pressure stages, by Gerry Danilatos.

The Department of Defense (DoD) announces the Fiscal Year 2023 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP). I’m excited to share that the 2023 DURIP selections have been announced and our proposal for a new Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope is recommended for award. All indications are that it will be funded. Congratulations to Dr. Bruce Lee (PI), Dr. Paul Sanders, Dr. Trisha Sain, Dr. Kazuya Tajiri, and Dr. Stephen Techtmann. Once funded, the new instrument will be housed in ACMAL and available for use by the MTU research community.

The timing is still TBD but since the project should be completed within a year we are starting the planning process to finalize the equipment purchase. However, there is still an opportunity to add capabilities to the instrument, especially if cost share can be contributed. Some possible additions include: a windowless EDS detector for light element (including Li) analysis, tensile stage, cryo stage, etc.

Below is a summary of the capabilities of the proposed new SEM.

Summary of the Capabilities and Functions of the Proposed FE-ESEM

Instrument

  • Environmental or Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope

Electron Source

  • Field emission gun assembly with Schottky emitter source

Voltage

  • 20 V to 30,000 V

Resolution at 30 kV

  • High-vacuum Mode: 1.0 nm (SED) and 2.5 nm (BSED)
  • Low-vacuum Mode: 1.3 nm (SED) and 2.5 nm (BSED)
  • Environmental Mode: 1.3 nm (SED)

Magnification

  • 20x to 1,000,000x in a single quadrant

Ulti Max 170 EDS

  • Fast acquisition (quantitative > 400,000 cps and mapping > 1,000,000 cps)
  • Operate at low beam current, minimizing beam damage (3.5–5 kV)
  • High sensitivity for light element analysis

Symmetry S2 EBSD

  • High-speed analysis (indexing > 4,500 patterns per second)
  • High sensitivity >800 patterns per second/nA
  • Operates at low beam currents

Heating Stage

  • In-situ experimentation up to 1,100°C
  • Compatible with SE, BSED, EDS & EBSD detectors

Add Your Input

If you have any suggestions for capabilities or would like to discuss please contact Liz Miller by December 15th.

The Principal Investigator is Bruce Lee for research in additive manufacturing, materials development, and plastic waste recycling. The funding agency is the Office of Naval Research. DURIP is designed to improve the capabilities of accredited United States (U.S.) institutions of higher education to conduct research and to educate scientists and engineers in areas important to national defense, by providing funds for the acquisition of research equipment or instrumentation.

Who is Studying the Failure Mechanisms of Electrical Wire Terminals at Michigan Tech?

Micrograph of a wire on a substrate with a 500 micron scale marker.

An Advanced Metalworks Enterprise undergraduate student team, sponsored by Lear Corporation, is studying the performance of copper electrical wires in automobiles. Corrosion is the most common failure mechanism of wires used in crimp connectors; deformation in the wire terminal’s tin plating can cause additional contact issues within the connector. Electron microscopy aids in pinpointing the location of corrosion products on the wire and observing deformation in the tin plating. With this analysis, the team can now explore ways to improve the wire quality or crimping mechanism to minimize wire failures.

Image taken by Eli Harma and Reese Eichner, senior undergraduate materials science and engineering students, on Philips XL 40 ESEM.

Learn more about the Advanced Metalworks Enterprise at MTU: AME Website

Visit the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory’s webpage to learn more about our shared facility and instruments available to the Michigan Tech research community: ACMAL

Who is Studying Miniature Magneto-optic Devices at Michigan Tech?

Four images on different scales showing pillar arrays on a surface.

The successful fabrication of miniature optical components is key for progressing current optical technologies. A family of such miniature optical components must be able to efficiently rotate linearly polarized light at small scales. Estefanio Kesto, under the guidance of Dr. Miguel Levy, is studying the interaction between light and ferromagnetic iron garnet nanostructures. It has been observed that the polarization rotation of linearly polarized light, known as the magneto-optic response, traveling through such a nanostructure will be enhanced. The ferromagnetic iron garnet nanostructures pictured above, which enhance the magneto-optic response, are being studied to further miniaturize polarization rotators and other interferometric components. Additionally, Professor Levy and his research group are diving into the unexplored region of magneto-optic beam splitting and its applications in classical and quantum computing.

Pillars fabricated and image taken by Estefanio Kesto, undergraduate student in electrical engineering, using ACMAL’s Hitachi FB-2000A FIB, Hitachi S-4700 FE-SEM, and Asylum Research MFP-3D Origin+ AFM.

Read more about the Dr. Miguel Levy’s research in the following articles:

All-dielectric magnetic metasurface for advanced light control in dual polarizations combined with high-Q resonances

Nonreciprocal magneto-optic beam splitting

Two-dimensional array of iron-garnet nanocylinders supporting localized and lattice modes for the broadband boosted magneto-optics

Visit the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory’s webpage to learn more about our shared facility and instruments available to the Michigan Tech research community: ACMAL

Who is Imaging Electrospun Polycaprolactone Fiber Scaffolding at Michigan Tech?

Six panels of three different polymer nanofibers at low and high magnifications.

Dr. Smitha Rao, assistant professor for Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Tech, and the Biomedical µDevices research team developed a way to be able to observe how breast cancer cells grow and migrate in various environments. The project developed scaffolding systems that mimic structures that could be found in human tissue. They engineered three polycaprolactone scaffold structures to test different topographical and mechanical features: hexagonal, mesh-like and aligned.

The image was taken by Dr. Smitha Rao’s graduate and undergraduate students using ACMAL’s Hitachi S-4700 FE-SEM.

Read more about Dr. Rao and the Biomedical µDevices research team’s work:

Visit the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory’s webpage to learn more about our shared facility and instruments available to the Michigan Tech research community: ACMAL

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