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Xidex Corporation, an Austin-based nanotechnology company, has been awarded a new contract from
the Department of Energy (DOE) for scaleable manufacturing of carbon nanotube (CNT) based field emission sources for use in scanning electron beam instruments such as scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) and transmission electron microscopes (TEMs). The project is aimed at significant improvement in the imaging resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and processing speed of SEMs and TEMs used in materials science, biotechnology, forensics, medical research, the semiconductor industry, and the emerging nanotechnology industry.
Vladimir Mancevski, Xidex's Chief Technology Officer, said, "We plan to
manufacture CNT field emitters on metal substrates that can be integrated
into SEM and TEM electron guns. The company plans to demonstrate a
scaleable production processes for making the CNT emitters. We will be
measuring key figures-of-merit and evaluating emitter performance in a
commercial scanning electron beam instrument."
Paul McClure, Xidex's President and CEO, said, "CNT emitters directly
address a long standing problem in the field of electron microscopy.
Electron optical columns have improved significantly in the last 15 years,
but the field emission source itself has basically not changed. Our carbon
nanotube based source represents a new possibility for a breakthrough. This
project will have a huge impact on all areas of electron microscopy."
Xidex's academic collaborators include Dr. Keith Stevenson in The
University of Texas at Austin's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
and Dr. John Markert in UT Austin's Department of Physics. Scanservice
Corporation, a leading SEM equipment sales, installation and service
company based in Tustin, California, will assist by testing Xidex's
emitters in a commercial SEM. International SEMATECH, whose member
companies make up 50 percent of the worldwide chip market, has offered to
facilitate working relationships between Xidex and the leading SEM and TEM
suppliers. Dr. David Joy, Distinguished Scientist in the Department of
Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Tennessee at Knoxville
will provide consulting support related to emitter design and
interpretation of test results.
About Xidex Corporation
Xidex ( http://www.xidex.com ), founded in 1997, is one of the first
Texas- based companies to manufacture and sell nanotechnology-based
products. The company manufactures nanodevices based on individual CNTs
with controlled properties using a proprietary, scalable core process.
Xidex currently produces CNT-based probes which it sells for use in
high-end scanning probe microscopy tools, including CNT tips for atomic
force microscopes (AFMs). These probes give chipmakers the much-needed
ability to measure devices as small as 1 nanometer (nm), and strengthen the
industry's ability to produce advanced semiconductors. They also are used
in materials science, biology and other challenging applications. CNT based
field emission sources for electron beam tools represent the company's next
major product offering.
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