The Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons (ER-C) is operated by Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University. It is the first national centre of excellence in Germany for methodological developments and applications of high-resolution electron microscopy and spectroscopy, with a specific focus on aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy. The ER-C contains an extensive range of state-of-the-art electron microscopes, including a chromatic aberration corrected FEI Titan3 G2 50-300 G2 PICO instrument and further FEI Titan class microscopes dedicated, e.g., to off-axis electron holography and in situ electron microscopy.
The ER-C contains more than 20 staff who have expertise in the development of advanced methods in electron optics, quantitative image analysis and spectroscopy on the atomic scale, off-axis electron holography, electron tomography and in situ transmission electron microscopy. Recent scientific activities include measurements of lattice distortions in crystalline solids using negative Cs imaging with a precision of one picometre, measurements of lens aberrations and information limits in electron microscopes, simultaneous acquisition of HAADF images and monolayer-resolved EELS signals, atomic-scale electron tomography using negative Cs imaging at low accelerating voltages, software development for computer-based retrieval of quantum-mechanical object wavefunctions from defocus series of images and high-precision analysis and correction of residual electron optical aberrations.
An FEI Helios NanoLab 460F1 dual beam focused ion beam system equipped with an EasyLift nanomanipulator, a cooling trap, an inert gas transfer holder loadlock, a quick loader, a FlipStage 3, an EDX-System and a STEM III detector; an FEI Helios NanoLab 400S focused ion beam system equipped with a flipstage assembly a retractable multi-region STEM detector, an integrated Ar ion gun and an EDAX Genesis XM 4i X-ray microanalysis system; a Fischione Nanomill and conventional sample preparation facilities.
The FEI Titan3 G2 50-300 PICO is a unique fourth generation field emission gun transmission electron microscope equipped with a high-brightness electron gun, a monochromator, a probe spherical aberration corrector, a spherical and chromatic achro-aplanat image corrector, a Gatan Quantum ERS post-column spectrometer and a Gatan Oneview camera. The microscope has TEM and STEM resolutions of 50 pm at 300 kV and system energy resolutions (at a spatial resolution of 140 pm) of 100 meV at 80 kV and 40 pA and 130 meV at 300 kV and 45 pA.
The FEI Titan G2 60-300 HOLO is a dedicated 300 kV electron microscope designed to carry out both off-axis electron holography and in situ experiments. The instrument is equipped with two electron biprisms, a C-TWIN lens (pole piece gap > 10 mm) and an image spherical aberration corrector, a high brightness electron gun, a Gatan K2 IS direct electron detection camera and a Gatan Tridiem 865 ERS spectrometer. The instrument allows for magnetic field visualisation by means of spherical aberration corrected Lorentz microscopy and electron holography at elevated and reduced specimen temperatures. Owing to the large pole piece gap, a variety of in situ experiments using dedicated sample holders can be performed.
The FEI Titan G2 80-200 ChemiSTEM is a remotely operated field emission gun (scanning) transmission electron microscope equipped with a high-brightness Schottky field emission electron gun, a Cs probe corrector, a Super-X EDX system, an UltraScan 1000XP-P charge coupled digital camera, an on-axis bright-field/dark-field STEM detector as well as a Gatan Enfinium ER (model 977) spectrometer with DUAL EELS option allowing a simultaneous read-out of EDX and EELS signals at a speed of 1000 spectra per second. The Titan G2 80-200 ChemiSTEM is characterised by a STEM resolution of 80 pm and TEM information limit of 110 pm at 200 kV.
The FEI Titan 80-300 TEM is field emission gun transmission electron microscope equipped with an image spherical aberration corrector. The microscope has an information limit of 80 pm and was one of the first sub-Ångström resolution transmission electron microscopes operating at an acceleration voltage of 300 kV. Digital images are acquired using a Gatan Ultrascan 1000P 2k slow scan CCD camera. A unique feature of this microscope is the installation of ATLAS® software for the measurement of residual lens aberrations.
The FEI Titan 80-300 STEM is a field emission gun scanning transmission electron microscope equipped with a probe spherical aberration corrector, an electron gun monochromator and a Gatan Tridiem 865 ER post column spectrometer. It has a STEM resolution of 80 pm and an energy resolution of 120 meV at 300 kV and 40 pA.
Sophisticated commercial and home-written software for image analysis, processing and simulation (including Dr. Probe); software for aberration and electron microscope stability measurement and microscope control; a data analysis infrastructure, including a data storage system for results acquired using a K2 IS direct electron detector, connected to workstations via 10 GBit/s ethernet lines.