Dear ALL:  Happy New Year, and may 2012 bring you happiness, good health and many exciting results and hot publications!

Given the high cost of relocating tools (and the lack of any usable space in existing domains), the procurement of a lot of the metrology tools have been pushed back.  But happily the end is in sight.  In anticipation of the QNC building coming online this summer/fall, we have appropriately completed procurement of the majority of the metrology toolset for the QNC project.  Now, we wait for the tools to be built and delivered and anxiously for the QNC building release so that we could better coordinate the tool deployment.  A quick update follows below.

Small Angle X-ray Scattering – Anton Paar – Operational

Within the existing space constraint, some temporary space was found for the SAXSess system.  This system has been in operation for awhile and will be moved from the current WATLab location to the QNC this summer.  Unlike powder XRD or high-resolution (4-circle) XRD, SAXS operates on a different principle.  This system is great for looking at nano-objects with regular periodicity and dimension less than 10 nm.  This typically includes nanoparticles and nanocavities (e.g. in membranes).  A word of caution is that one will need to be prepared to learn a little bit about modelling to extract useful information from the data curves.  Anton Paar does provide analysis software for the standard models (spheres, cylinders, cubes) for the nano-objects.

SQUID – Quantum Design MPMS SQUID VSM 7.0 Tesla - To be installed.  

This is a monopoly marketplace dominated by just one company (Quantum Design), which gives us less flexibility in negotiation.  The SQUID VSM system is built (but is waiting for us to “go with installation”) and this will be installed as soon as we are allowed to access the QNC building.  This SQUID system has full options, including the 1000 K oven and high vacuum, AC measurement, and ULF (ultra-low frequency) measurement.  It is also equipped with their new EverCool Dewar technology, which will minimize the need to order liquid helium before each run.  This does not save on the overall operating cost, however, as there will be maintenance cost needed for the dewar, but the dewar is a great convenience (according to my Brock colleagues who have the EverCool).

Transmission Electron Microscope – Zeiss Libra 200 MC - - To be installed.

This is Zeiss’ top-of-the-line 200 kV TEM system with powerful (and unique) features based on novel physics, including the patented Koehler illumination, and double-corrected Omega in-column filter technologies.  The uW system will be equipped with their new ZEMAS software, fast-CAM technology (on-screen beam alignment without the use of the fishbowl) and fast EDX analysis system (with at least 0.6 str in the detector acceptance solid angle, comparable to FEI Osiris that has the fastest EDX (0.9 str) in the marketplace).  All of these technologies will hopefully make hands-on training of our grad students easier.  We were also able to negotiate for the uW system a monochromator (cost ~ $1M alone).  This mono will enable us to do, among other things, EELS at high resolution (about 0.2 eV).  This is not quite the resolution of the FEI Titan at Mac (0.1 eV) but close enough (Titan is a 300 kV TEM that costs about $6-8 M, i.e. 2-3 times of our allocated budget for the TEM).  Titan can’t really do ELFTEM imaging well.  By taking advantage of the new technologies that the Titan doesn’t have, we can hopefully use this machine strategically to do some cool things that no one can do in Canada.  Needless to say, this machine has exceptional, best-in-class imaging capabilities.

Focussed Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscope – Zeiss Auriga - To be installed.  

This is Zeiss’ top-of-the-line FIB system with the COBRA ion column and the Gemini electron column.  It is also equipped with all the gas chemistries plus charge compensation.  With the superior Gemini e column design, the Auriga provides simultaneous high-resolution imaging during FIB’ing (unlike the rather tedious multi-stage-movement needed in the FEI NanoLab).  This system can do the standard TEM sample prep easily.  Bearing in mind that FIB operation is in general expensive b/c the gas chemistries use a lot of expensive organometallics and the expensive ion source has a considerably shorter lifetime than a FE electron source, we must still operate this machine smartly.  What’s more important is that the Auriga is also equipped with the Canadian built Fibics’ NPVE (NanoPatterning & Visualization Engine, with the new ATLAS technology used in Harvard’s brain mapping project), which will allow us to do state-of-the-art nanopatterning and nanomachining with ease and sophistication.

We should be able to complete procurement of the remaining QNC tools, including the AFM and optical microscopes, in the next 2-3 months, and begin site preparation and tool deployment if we are allowed access to the QNC hopefully soon.

 PS  As some of you may know, WATLab has acquired, through a different CFI project, and installed Canada’s first Helium Ion Microscope [$File/orion.html ] and we have been providing limited operator-service trial in the past term.  We’re starting full operator-service this term.  If you have samples that you wish to try out with this tool, please contact me or Nina.  See page 8 of  for more info re capabilities of this unique tool.


With my best wishes, Tong


K. T. Leung, Chemistry Department, University of Waterloo

519-8884567x35826 Lab x36827