FEI's Titan(TM) S/TEM Achieves Low kV Milestone

1.4 Angstrom Resolution Marks Important Breakthrough for Atomic-Scale

Imaging of Light Element Nanomaterials

Jul 31, 2006, 01:00 ET from FEI Company

    HILLSBORO, Ore, July 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- FEI Company (Nasdaq:  
 FEIC) today announced that scientists at its NanoPort(TM) in Europe have
 broken another image resolution barrier with the world's most advanced
 commercially-available microscope, the Titan(TM) 80-300 corrected S/TEM.
 For the first time ever, directly interpretable TEM images with atomic
 resolution better than 1.4 Angstrom were obtained at the very low operating
 voltage of 80kV.
     The result was welcomed by some of the world's leading research centers
 as an important milestone in nanocharacterization as now even light element
 materials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene can be imaged artifact-free
 and with high contrast while having highest lateral resolution.
     Direct atomic resolution at 80kV was obtained for various classes of
 materials: gold nanoparticles, silicon and single wall carbon nanotubes.
 The smallest atomic distance resolved was the well-known silicon dumbbell
 distance of 1.36 Angstrom. These new findings will be presented in a
 scientific presentation at the Microscopy & Microanalysis 2006 conference
 being held this week in Chicago.
     "I am pleased to see this proof of the stability of the Titan column at
 the low-voltage end of its range. This is good news for the TEAM project,
 which specifically demands unprecedented resolution over the whole
 operating range of 80 to 300kV to meet a spectrum of scientific challenges.
 I consider this a significant milestone for the TEAM/FEI collaboration,"
 commented Ulrich Dahmen, TEAM Project Director from the National Center for
 Electron Microscopy in Berkeley, California.
     "With their resolving power at an accelerating voltage of only 80 kV,
 the Titan instruments will allow us to get much deeper and more reliable
 insight in materials classes previously excluded from high-resolution
 analysis due to their beam-sensitivity. This will include nanomaterials
 composed of light elements in both hard and soft matter, which can now be
 investigated at an unprecedented contrast and spatial resolution," said
 Joachim Mayer from the Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy
 with Electrons at the Research Centre Juelich, Germany.
     "We are proud to deliver to our customers our promise of the ultimate
 performance, stability and flexibility for a new era of groundbreaking
 results. We have shown the world record performance at 300kV before, now we
 can add the milestone at 80kV," said Rob Fastenau, senior vice president
 for FEI's NanoResearch & Industry and NanoBiology market divisions. He
 added: "I am very pleased that the Titan 80-300 shows direct atomic
 resolution over the entire range of operating voltages. It will give us the
 opportunity to further accelerate our mission to remain the world leader in
 high-resolution imaging and analysis and an important enabler for the
 world's growing nanotechnology industry."
     The milestone results were achieved on a Titan 80-300 equipped with an
 aberration corrector. The Titan is designed as a dedicated and upgradeable
 aberration-corrected system for ultimate performance and ultimate
 flexibility. The corrector, developed by CEOS GmbH in close collaboration
 with FEI Company, allows for significant resolution improvement and removal
 of artifacts that normally hamper direct interpretation of images. The new
 resolution achievement underscores the ultimate flexibility and stability
 of the Titan 80-300 system.
     About FEI Company
     FEI's Tools for Nanotech(TM), featuring focused ion- and electron-beam
 technologies, deliver 3D characterization, analysis and modification
 capabilities with resolution down to the sub-Angstrom level and provide
 innovative solutions for customers working in NanoBiology, NanoResearch and
 NanoElectronics. With R&D centers in North America and Europe, and sales
 and service operations in more than 50 countries around the world, FEI is
 bringing the nanoscale within the grasp of leading researchers and
 manufacturers and helping to turn some of the biggest ideas of this century
 into reality. More information can be found on the FEI website at: