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Table of Contents

Dos and Don'ts
Standard Operation
Troubleshooting
Sample Holders

Dos and Don'ts

Never ever install any program on any of the computers belonging to the electron microscope. If you do, you will lose the right to use it.

Never turn the microscope off (red button) without the explicit instruction to do so. Never pull the plug.

  • Make sure that the EHT is set to 5 kV before running up the high voltage. You can set it to whatever value you want once the EHT has run up to 5 kV.

Standard Operation

  • Switching on/Switching off: Usually the microscopy is in standby mode: The yellow button on the plinth of the microscopy is on. To switch on the microscope press the green button. The Computer will boot automatically and will display a Windows login. Once you have logged on start the "SmartSEM" software. When you are finished measuring stop the EM Server by clicking on the window-close-button in the upper right corner. Once the server has run down shutdown windows and wait for the computer to power down. Once the computer has powered down press the yellow button behind the transparent cover on the plinth of the microscope.
  • Venting the microscope: The microscopy is always vented with nitrogen gas, with a minimum purity of 4.6. The pressure reducer on the nitrogen bottle should never be set to pressures above 3.0 bar. The reason for this is that the venting time is to be kept above 2 to 3 minutes in order to reduce the stress on the window of the EDX detector. A second reduction stage reduces the pressure further to 0.3 Bar excess pressure. Depending on the pressure used the venting can take more than 3 minutes. Make sure that both the main valve of the nitrogen bottle and the smaller valve further down the pressure hose close are both open before venting the microscope.
  • The microscopy is ready to be opened when a gap of about 2 mm appears at the sealing surface. Open the door slowly with both hands by sliding it towards you. Do not use the handle. Once you have exchanged the samples and mounted the sample-holder in the microscopy close the door slowly and controlled. Do under no circumstances use the handle of the door. One possible and good method to close the door is to have the finger-tipps between door and the outer sealing surface of the microscope, so that a sudden reduction of the resistance of the slinding mechanism will not lead to a forceful closing of the door. Such a "shockwave" could again damage the window of the EDX detector. Please shut the smaller valve of the nitrogen supply if you keep the door open for a longer period of time in order to reduce the use of nitrogen.

Tipps and Tricks

High current and the 240 um aperture don't give a high enough sample current? You can increase the extraction voltage, which is usually 5.4 kV, up to 6.2 kV. That should give you a sample current in the order of 100 nA.

 

 

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