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Home > Press > NMRC, University of Nottingham chooses the Quorum Q150 coater for its reliable and reproducible film thickness when coating samples with iridium

Nicola Weston, an electron microscopy technician at the NMRC Nottingham, using the Quorum Q150T ES coater
Nicola Weston, an electron microscopy technician at the NMRC Nottingham, using the Quorum Q150T ES coater

Abstract:
Quorum Technologies, market and technology leaders in electron microscopy coating and cryogenic preparation products, report on the reliability and repeatability of metal film deposition thickness achieved by the Q150T S coater is so important to the Nanoscale & Microscale Research Centre at the University of Nottingham.

NMRC, University of Nottingham chooses the Quorum Q150 coater for its reliable and reproducible film thickness when coating samples with iridium

Laughton, UK | Posted on June 27th, 2017

Dr Elisabeth (Beth) Steer is Specimen Preparation Technician at the Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre, (NMRC), in the Faculty of Science at the University of Nottingham. The Centre is a cross-faculty hub providing facilities and expertise for research across the engineering, physical and life sciences. The Centre is well placed and ready to support academics in achieving excellence in their research and leveraging the funding available in nanoscience and related interdisciplinary areas. It is proud host to a unique suite of over twenty instruments which facilitate the imaging and analytical investigation of materials from a wide range of scientific disciplines. The NMRC also welcomes commercial and industrial access making it one of the most versatile imaging centres in the country.

Beth's work covers many different preparation processes. These include sputter coating, evaporation coating, critical point drying, resin embedding, microtomy & ultramicrotomy, polishing and grinding. The key to successful coating performance is reproducibility. Beth takes up the story: “We use the Quorum 150T S turbomolecular-pumped system to sputter coat samples with iridium here prior to analysis on a JEOL 7100 FEG-SEM. The iridium coating is essential as the other types of coating we have here (Pt, Au) have a grain size too large for use with the FEG as the structure of the coat covers nano features we’re trying to observe. When working on a nanoscale, it's very important to have an even coat covering the samples that is reproducible. We tend to coat between 5-15 nm.”

Continuing, she says “Compared to our other coaters, the Q150T has a very controllable, easily reproducible coat – helped by the turbo pump. The reproducibility is very important to us as if we coat a sample with something that varies by a few nm then the sample is difficult to interpret and once we find a thickness that works for a sample type we need to be able to reproduce it to 1 nm. Film thickness is very important for us. It varies with every sample type, but we find the ability to produce coats ‹5 nm essential for FEG work and that isn’t really possible without a Film Thickness Monitor.”

Sales Manager, Dennis Fitzpatrick, says “Quorum offers the most versatile range of sputter and carbon coaters for electron microscopy today. The Q150T is available in three formats: sputtering, carbon evaporation or both. Depending upon the selected configuration, the Q150T can be a top-of-the-range sputter coater for high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM), a carbon coater suitable for SEM and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), or both - in a single easy-to-use system. Other options include metal evaporation and aperture cleaning.”

To obtain full details of the Q150T coating system and other products available from Quorum Technologies, please visit www.quorumtech.com .

####

About Quorum Technologies Limited
Quorum Technologies are market and technology leaders in electron microscopy (EM) coating and cryogenic preparation providing high performance sample preparation instrumentation worldwide.

A key feature of Quorum's success is by listening to the industry and being able to respond to requests and requirements to develop new instruments and techniques. This resulted in the introduction of the market-leading Q Series of vacuum coaters and PP3010T cryo preparation system for SEM and FIB/SEM – genuine ground-up redesigns that have earned Quorum the respect of the industry and truly set the standard within the specimen preparation field.

The company was founded in 2001 after the acquisition of the long-established Polaron brand and its range of EM products from Thermo Instruments. In 2005, they acquired the Emitech company, allowing Quorum to extend their product range and further grow the business.

Further impetus and investment came with the acquisition of Quorum by Judges Scientific plc and a move to purpose-built factory and offices close to the South Downs National Park at Laughton, East Sussex in the South East of England.

In 2014 Quorum were proud winners of the Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Quorum Technologies Limited
Judges House
Lewes Road
Laughton
East Sussex BN8 6BN, UK
T +44 (0)13523 810981
www.quorumtech.com


Talking Science Limited
39 de Bohun Court
Saffron Walden
Essex CB10 2BA
T +44(0)1799 521881
M +44(0)7843 012997
www.talking-science.com

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