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Adv Struct Chem Imaging. 2017;3(1):12. doi: 10.1186/s40679-017-0045-2. Epub 2017 May 2.

An environmental transfer hub for multimodal atom probe tomography.

Author information

1
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 3335 Innovation Boulevard, Richland, WA 99354 USA.
2
Scientific Center for Optical and Electron Microscopy (ScopeM), ETH Zurich, Auguste-Piccard-Hof 1, Zurich, 8093 Switzerland.

Abstract

Environmental control during transfer between instruments is required for samples sensitive to air or thermal exposure to prevent morphological or chemical changes prior to analysis. Atom probe tomography is a rapidly expanding technique for three-dimensional structural and chemical analysis, but commercial instruments remain limited to loading specimens under ambient conditions. In this study, we describe a multifunctional environmental transfer hub allowing controlled cryogenic or room-temperature transfer of specimens under atmospheric or vacuum pressure conditions between an atom probe and other instruments or reaction chambers. The utility of the environmental transfer hub is demonstrated through the acquisition of previously unavailable mass spectral analysis of an intact organic molecule made possible via controlled cryogenic transfer into the atom probe using the hub. The ability to prepare and transfer specimens in precise environments promises a means to access new science across many disciplines from untainted samples and allow downstream time-resolved in situ atom probe studies.

KEYWORDS:

Atom probe tomography; Cryo atom probe tomography; Cryogenic transfer; Environmental transfer

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