Electron Microscopy Facility

This research facility is one of several core research facilities at Brown that provide access to specialized, high capital cost research tools and is administered by the Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation (IMNI).  The Electron Microscopy Facility at Brown is operated as a cost center where the annual cost of supplies, service contracts, and personnel is recovered through an hourly charge to users for their instrument beam time.

EMF is located in the Engineering Research Center (ERC) at 345 Brook Street in ERC-020 on the Brown campus.  The Electron Microscopy Facility was designed to house a suite of electron microscopes and, as such, each room has the power, cooling water supply, and HVAC necessary to run a modern microscope.  These rooms have been mapped for stray fields and are well isolated from vibration. The Engineering Research Center is home to the School of Engineering and The Barus & Holley building is home to the Physics Department. The departments of Chemistry and Geology are located less than a city block from the facility.  The Electron Microscopy Facility is accessible to authorized users of the Brown research community on a 24 hour/7 day basis.  Authorized users are able to reserve time on the instruments using an on-line, web-based system.  EMF welcomes users from departments across the Brown campus as well as external academic and industrial users.  

 The Electron Microscopy Facility serves the research and teaching needs of faculty, researchers, and students in the physical and biological sciences at Brown University and is available to outside academic and, in most cases, industry users.  The laboratory instrumentation currently consists of:

FEI CM 20 - TEM 

The FEI CM20 is available for applications that require high tilt, moderate resolution (0.23 nm).  This 200 kV analytical TEM  allows the large specimen tilts needed for dislocation characterization and weak-beam imaging applications. It is equipped with a low background double tilt holder and a liquid nitrogen temperature holder. Compositional analysis is performed on this instrument using energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. Images are recorded using a large field of view, side mounted, digital image acquisition system. 
FEI Helios - FIB

This tool is fully equipped for (near) simultaneous ion/electron beam imaging and patterning of specimens.  Pt are available for ion (or electron) beam stimulated deposition of conducting lines. An Omniprobe AutoProbe 200 allows the physical manipulation of samples with nanometer precision and is used along with Pt metal deposition and standard FIB trenching to allow the selection and removal of electron transparent TEM samples from specific microstructural features. A Nabity pattern generation system (plus beam blanker and external scan interface) controls the electron beam for high resolution, interlaced pattern generation used in the FIB fabrication of nanostructures. Three dimensional crystallographic data can be generated from specimens using the fully automated EBSD system (Oxford HKL&EBS-3). It is equipped with a Debben heating/cooling holder, and selective carbon mill is available.

JEOL 2100F - S(TEM)

The 2100F is a 200 kV, field emission source, high-resolution/analytical S(TEM) capable of 0.10 nm lattice resolution. It is primarily used for obtaining lattice images or when chemical or crystallographic information is required from laterally small areas (1-10 nm). The instrument is equipped with an x-ray spectrometer capable of light element detection, a Gatan image filter (GIF) for element and phase analyses and enegy filtered imaging, a high tilt holder for electron tomography and a high-resolution CCD camera system for digital image acquisition and processing. A low background double-tilt holder for chemical analysis by EDS, a standard double tilt holder, a heating holder capable of 1000C, and a heating straining holder are available.  Probes as small as 1 nm in diameter are accessible for micro-diffraction experiments. STEM mode for EDS line and area scans, bright and dark field STEM detectors, and high angle annular dark field is capable in STEM mode.

Two in situ and operando specimen holders are now available for use on the 2100F. The MEMS Heating + Biasing Holder allows the user to perform heating (up to 1400 C), and simultaneous electrical-biasing, while observing the specimen in the TEM. The Single-Channel Gas Holder allows the user to perform TEM of specimens under atmospheric-pressure gas environment and heating (up to 1400 C). This expands our capabilities in the exciting area of in situ and operando TEM for studying phase transformations, battery materials/devices, solar materials/devices, electronic devices, catalysis, etc.

K-Alpha XPS

The K-Alpha X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) has a micro-focussed monochromated X-ray source, a double-focussing hemispherical analyzer with multi-element input lens (128-channel detector, 5-1500 eV range), and argon-ion source for depth-profiling/sample-cleaning.

LEO 1530 - SEM

The LEO 1530 VP ultra-high resolution field emitter SEM that allows for a resolution of 1 nm at a voltage of 20 kV in high vacuum and 2 nm at 30 kV in the variable pressure mode.  It is fully equipped with EDS for chemical mapping and includes a Debbem tensile test stage 5kn. The instrument is equipped with Nabity pattern generating software a high speed beam blanker and is set-up for high resolution electron-beam lithography. The LEO 1530 VP is capable of a resolution of 2.1 nm at very low electron energies (1 kV) which is of great use for beam-sensitive materials like polymers and insulating surfaces. Also very useful for insulating samples is the variable operating pressure mode which allows insulating materials to be imaged without coating the surface. 

Quattro S - SEM 

The Quattro environmental scanning electron microscope (SEM) is a unique SEM that combines a field-emission source for high-resolution imaging and an environmental feature allowing the observation of samples under wet/humid, hot, or reactive conditions. It is also equipped with an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) for analytical characterization.

For further information contact:  

David C. Paine
Director, Electron Microscopy Facility
Professor, School of Engineering
[email protected]  
P:  (401) 863-1457
Box D, Brown University

Anthony McCormick
Microscopist, Electron Microscopy Facility
[email protected]
P:  (401) 863-3909
Box D, Brown University 

Administrative Contact: 

Sue Prendergast
Assistant Director, IMNI
[email protected]
P:  (401) 863-2184
F:  (401) 863-1387