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NIST studies how new helium ion microscope measures up
Date:9/5/2008

c., last summer as part of a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA). Researchers are test-piloting it in NISTs Advanced Measurement Laboratory (AML), one of the most environmentally stable research facilities in the world. Carefully controlled for vibration, humidity and temperature changes, AML labs are optimal sites to test new microscope technology, say the researchers. What we are learning, explains Postek, goes directly back to the manufacturers to improve their products, which allows NIST and industry to obtain the most precise measurements possible. We are transferring NIST technology and sharing our research with the semiconductor industry trade organization, SEMATECH.

One such NIST contribution is fast imaging, a technique Vladar developed to obtain sharper images. A combination of vibrations at the nanoscale and taking images at high resolutions left certain images fuzzy, similar to what happens when taking a picture of a moving baby with a slow shutter speed. Instead of collecting the signal slowly and getting a fuzzy image, the NIST technique collects many images as fast as possible and merges them using a clever algorithm to reduce the fuzziness and result in a much sharper image.

Zeiss has recently replaced the original Orion with the first-ever Orion Plus, which incorporates many of NISTs suggestions in its design, including an improved cooling system for the helium source for improved imaging


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Contact: Evelyn Brown
evelyn.brown@nist.gov
301-975-5661
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

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