Thermo Scientific Quattro ESEM

microscopic images
ESEM imaging of uncoated sea salt grains before water uptake (left) uptake of water at ~76% RH (middle) and continued water uptake (right)

The Thermo Scientific Quattro Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) is fully equipped with extensive analytical and in situ capabilities. The instrument’s field emission gun (FEG) allows for high resolution imaging of samples with available detector options that include the standard Everhart Thornley detector (ETD) and low vacuum detectors for secondary electron imaging; a retractable directional backscatter detector for phase and channeling contrast; and a retractable STEM detector for ultra-high-resolution imaging of electron-transparent samples. 

The Quattro can be operated over a wide range of accelerating voltages (200 V – 30 kV) and currents (1 pA – 200 nA), with a maximum secondary electron imaging resolution of 3.0 nm at 1 kV, or 0.8 nm at 30 kV when operating in STEM mode. Low vacuum imaging is possible in the available ESEM mode up to 4000 Pa (30 Torr), along with other tunable ‘real world’ chamber conditions, including control over temperature, humidity, and partial pressure of reactive gases. These tunable parameters allow for convenient analysis of samples that are charging, outgassing, or otherwise not high-vacuum compatible. 

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quattro microscope in CEMAS


In situ Characterization

Heating stage: Temperatures achievable up to 1100 °C, EBSD compatible up to 900 °C.

Cooling stage: Peltier cooling stage for analysis of samples at temperatures down to -25 °C and up to 100 % relative humidity in ESEM mode. Compatible with secondary, backscatter, or STEM imaging.

CryoMAT stage: Temperature controlled stage capable of use down to -190 °C, compatible with the QuickLoader load lock system to avoid venting the entire chamber for sample exchange.

Kammrath-Weiss tensile stage: Tensile and compression module with testing capabilities up to 5 kN, heating to 800 °C, and EBSD compatibility.

Analytical Capabilities

EDAX Octane Elect super 70mmEDS:High count silicon-drift detector with a thin silicon nitride window for detection of light elements.

EDAX Velocity EBSD camera: Newly designed CMOS sensor capable of 4,500 indexed points per second and located coplanar with the EDS detector.

Horiba H-Clue Cathodoluminescence detector: Wide spectral range cathodoluminescence multidetector system for imaging and spectroscopy from the UV to NIR.


sputtered gold microscopy image
STEM imaging of sputtered gold at 30 kV

Additional Features

QuickLoader: Load lock designed for fast sample transfer with no need to vent and pump the entire SEM chamber. Compatible with STEM, CryoMAT, and general SEM imaging.

Electrical Feedthroughs: Multiport for electrical signals (up to 7) allowing additional electrical stimuli to be applied to the samples and novel detection schemes.

Fast Beam Blanker: Electrostatic beam modulation for fast diversion of the electron beam to lower beam exposure to sample. Rise/fall times of <20 ns and a maximum blanking rate of 1 MHz. 

MAPS: Software for automated image collection and stitching multiple images at high resolution over large areas.

Cryocleaner: Remove contamination and achieve a higher vacuum level than normal operating condition.

NavCam: Optical image of stage for ease of sample navigation on multiple samples or large areas.

Beam Deceleration: Stage bias of -4000 V to +50 V allowing for increased resolution at low landing energies (down to 20 eV) and provide additional signal of backscatter electrons at low landing energies.

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This equipment was funded through National Science Foundation (NSF) award 1726319, The Ohio State University, and the Ohio Department of Education.


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