The contest to produce the world's most advanced commercially available electron microscope stepped up a gear after FEI announced its new scanning/transmission electron microscope (S/TEM), produced atomic-scale imaging with resolution below 0.7 Angstrom.
The announcement comes just one year after FEI became the first developer and manufacturer of commercial electron microscopes to achieve sub-Angstrom resolution on FEI's market-leading Tecnai microscope using a monochromator and an aberration corrector.
Until now, aberration correction technologies in electron microscopes have been treated as accessory components for S/TEM systems that were not truly optimised for this type of advanced technology. Thus, the integration of these types of correctors for breaking the next resolution barrier and for high usability has been met with limited success.
The Titan 80-300 is designed as an upgradeable aberration-corrected system that enables corrector and monochromator technology to enter into mainstream nanotechnology research and industrial markets. The Titan S/TEM system features stability to break the 1-Angstrom barrier.
Results that deliver Titan TEM information limits below 0.7 Angstrom and S/TEM resolution just below 1.0 Angstrom, without the addition of aberration corrector upgrades is an achievement that has never before been demonstrated on a commercial tool.
Corrector upgrades can be added for higher resolution, extending the point resolution down to the information limit for accurate interpretation of atomic structures.
The upgradeable design of the Titan enables not only larger nanotechnology and national research centres to afford dedicated aberration corrected TEM technology, it opens the door to universities and companies with staged funds to position themselves for the future.
"The Titan 80-300 is a significant platform for the nanotechnology era. FEI's continuing advances in ultra-high TEM resolution, coupled with our focused ion beam (FIB) technologies, deliver tools for researchers, focused on nanoscale discovery and product commercialisation," commented Vahe Sarkissian, FEI's chairman and chief executive officer.
"FEI will continue to invest in the development of these key technologies and market platforms," he added.
The introduction of the Titan follows FEI's November announcement that it was selected as the R&D partner for a program aiming to build the highest resolution scanning/transmission electron microscope (S/TEM) in the world by several regional US laboratories that combined to form the TEAM project.
The multi-million dollar microscopy project calls for a new microscope that should enable new scientific opportunities for direct observation aimed at enabling analysis of individual nanostructures at an unprecedented resolution of 0.5 Angstrom - approximately one-third the size of a carbon atom.
The system will be fully available for demonstrations after Titan's official launch at the 2005 Microscopy and Microanalysis meeting, August 1-4, in Honolulu.