Carbon-based nanomaterials and other low-dimensional materials have promising application in a variety of industries including electronics and filtration. Research into these novel materials has produced increased interest in low-kV scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) due to the technique’s ability to produce images with atomic resolution. This capacity is, however, significantly impacted by radiation; beam-damage-free imaging can often only be achieved at low accelerating voltages below the knock-on damage threshold (typically under 60 kV).

At these low values, resolution-limiting aberrations can substantially undermine imaging efforts. Monochromation of the electron beam, or the use of a cold field emission gun, have proven to be reliable ways to reduce chromatic blurring. A probe corrector can further improve signal by reducing, or potentially even eliminating, aberrations at low accelerating voltages.

Thermo Fisher Scientific combines monochromation and probe correction in the Thermo Scientific Spectra S/TEM product line, offering an ideally suited solution for imaging 2D materials. With the Spectra S/TEM, accelerating voltages as low as 30 kV are possible due to the superior correction capability of the Thermo Scientific S-CORR Probe Corrector along with the Thermo Scientific CETCOR Image Corrector, which compensates for spherical aberrations.

Molybdenum disulfide 2D material imaged with STEM.
Defects in a molybdenum disulfide sample imaged with high-resolution STEM and the S-CORR Probe Corrector. Probe voltage = 30 kV, convergence angle = 41 mrad. The number of observed 2D material layers are indicated.
Molybdenum disulfide 2D material imaged with STEM.
Molybdenum disulfide imaged with high-resolution STEM and the S-CORR Probe Corrector. Probe voltage = 30 kV, convergence angle = 41 mrad. Individual molybdenum and sulfur atoms can be identified.
Molybdenum disulfide 2D material imaged with STEM.
Molybdenum disulfide HAADF DCFI image (high-angle annular dark field drift-corrected frame imaging collected at 30kV with 1 Å resolution), produced with high-resolution STEM and the 5th order S-CORR probe aberration corrector. This image shows the benefit of the S-CORR corrector for imaging 2D materials at low accelerating voltages.

2D graphene imaged with high-resolution STEM.

Molybdenum disulfide 2D material imaged with STEM.
Defects in a molybdenum disulfide sample imaged with high-resolution STEM and the S-CORR Probe Corrector. Probe voltage = 30 kV, convergence angle = 41 mrad. The number of observed 2D material layers are indicated.
Molybdenum disulfide 2D material imaged with STEM.
Molybdenum disulfide imaged with high-resolution STEM and the S-CORR Probe Corrector. Probe voltage = 30 kV, convergence angle = 41 mrad. Individual molybdenum and sulfur atoms can be identified.
Molybdenum disulfide 2D material imaged with STEM.
Molybdenum disulfide HAADF DCFI image (high-angle annular dark field drift-corrected frame imaging collected at 30kV with 1 Å resolution), produced with high-resolution STEM and the 5th order S-CORR probe aberration corrector. This image shows the benefit of the S-CORR corrector for imaging 2D materials at low accelerating voltages.

2D graphene imaged with high-resolution STEM.

Applications

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Fundamental Materials Research

Novel materials are investigated at increasingly smaller scales for maximum control of their physical and chemical properties. Electron microscopy provides researchers with key insight into a wide variety of material characteristics at the micro- to nano-scale.

 

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S/TEM Sample Preparation

DualBeam microscopes enable the preparation of high-quality, ultra-thin samples for S/TEM analysis. Thanks to advanced automation, users with any experience level can obtain expert-level results for a wide range of materials.

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Imaging using HRSTEM and HRTEM

Transmission electron microscopy is invaluable for characterizing the structure of nanoparticles and nanomaterials. High-resolution STEM and TEM enable atomic-resolution data along with information on chemical composition.

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Differential Phase Contrast Imaging

Modern electronics research relies on nanoscale analysis of electric and magnetic properties. Differential phase contrast STEM (DPC-STEM) can image the strength and distribution of magnetic fields in a sample and display the magnetic domain structure.

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S/TEM Sample Preparation

DualBeam microscopes enable the preparation of high-quality, ultra-thin samples for S/TEM analysis. Thanks to advanced automation, users with any experience level can obtain expert-level results for a wide range of materials.

Learn more ›

Imaging using HRSTEM and HRTEM

Transmission electron microscopy is invaluable for characterizing the structure of nanoparticles and nanomaterials. High-resolution STEM and TEM enable atomic-resolution data along with information on chemical composition.

Learn more ›

Differential Phase Contrast Imaging

Modern electronics research relies on nanoscale analysis of electric and magnetic properties. Differential phase contrast STEM (DPC-STEM) can image the strength and distribution of magnetic fields in a sample and display the magnetic domain structure.

Learn more ›

Products

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Spectra 200

  • High-resolution and contrast imaging for accelerating voltages from 30-200 kV
  • Symmetric S-TWIN/X-TWIN objective lens with wide-gap pole piece design of 5.4 mm
  • Sub-Angstrom STEM imaging resolution from 60 kV-200 kV

Spectra 300

  • Highest-resolution structural and chemical information at the atomic level
  • Flexible high-tension range from 30-300 kV
  • Three lens condenser system

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To ensure optimal system performance, we provide you access to a world-class network of field service experts, technical support, and certified spare parts.

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