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Nanocharacterization Laboratory Launches New Microscope

Lehigh’s Nanocharacterization Laboratory received a major upgrade with the installation of a customized state-of-the-art scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). The instrument replaces an advanced aberration-corrected electron microscope installed in 2004.

The multi-million dollar instrument was purchased with a $1.2 million Major Research Instrument (MRI) Program grant awarded by the National Science Foundation in 2010 to a research group led by Masashi Watanabe, associate professor of materials science and engineering. Matching funds were provided through the sale of the older microscope and by Lehigh as well.

The new microscope, a JEM-ARM200F, is a new model of aberration-corrected STEM that includes additional customized features specified by the Lehigh team.

The features include the latest, most sophisticated detectors for electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), which allow composition analysis at atomic resolution while improving stability, data acquisition speed and image quality, says Watanabe, principal investigator on the grant.