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|Above pictures show a resolution test sample (Sn balls on carbon, sputtered with Au grains). The sample was left inside a oil rotary pumped sputter coater over night. Left image: No fine surface details visible. SEM scanned area shows strong contamination build-up. Right image: Same sample, cleaned 25min in the ZONESem cleaner. The hydrocarbon film has been effectively removed, the fine Au grains are clearly visible without new contamination buildup within the scanning area. Copyright Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation|
Hitachi High-Technologies has launched the ZONESem desktop EM sample cleaner, specifically designed for cleaning and storing electron microscopy samples in readiness for high quality imaging and analysis. The Hitachi ZONESem utilizes a non-destructive UV cleaning process to quickly remove surface hydrocarbons from SEM samples.
The Hitachi ZONESem makes high resolution and/or surface imaging using secondary electrons, backscattered electrons or scanning transmission methods much easier, by removing surface hydrocarbon layers that could cause focusing and astigmatism difficulties and which would obscure surface and edge detail. Samples prepared in this way also offer better results for EDX or WDX analysis and for electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), where surface contamination can suppress EBSD pattern formation.
The compact Hitachi ZONESem measures just 360mm x 390mm x 480mm and uses a dry pumping system. Fully microprocessor-controlled, it is ready for use in less than 2 minutes and can provide either vacuum cleaning, or vacuum cleaning and vacuum storage. Cleaning times can be controlled in 1-minute steps up to 30 minutes total cleaning time.
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