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Ultramicroscopy. 2008 Feb;108(3):179-95. Epub 2007 Oct 22.

An electron microscope for the aberration-corrected era.

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Nion Co., 1102 8th Street, Kirkland, WA 98033, USA.


Improved resolution made possible by aberration correction has greatly increased the demands on the performance of all parts of high-end electron microscopes. In order to meet these demands, we have designed and built an entirely new scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). The microscope includes a flexible illumination system that allows the properties of its probe to be changed on-the-fly, a third-generation aberration corrector which corrects all geometric aberrations up to fifth order, an ultra-responsive yet stable five-axis sample stage, and a flexible configuration of optimized detectors. The microscope features many innovations, such as a modular column assembled from building blocks that can be stacked in almost any order, in situ storage and cleaning facilities for up to five samples, computer-controlled loading of samples into the column, and self-diagnosing electronics. The microscope construction is described, and examples of its capabilities are shown.

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