The infrastructure of the International Centre of Electron Microscopy for Materials Science (IC-EM) at the AGH-UST in Krakow is dedicated to the application and development of new methods of electron microscopy applied to materials investigations. The comprehensive TEM sample preparation laboratory and the advanced electron microscopes enable the in-depth microstructure characterisation down to atomic level.
A comprehensive TEM specimen preparation laboratory mainly dedicated to metals, alloys, ceramics, composites, coatings, etc. is available, with two low temperature electropolishing Tenupols, two room- and LN2 temperature PIPS (Gatan), an ion mill with low voltage (100V) and CCD camera for careful final polishing.
FIB/SEM dual beam NEON 40 EsB CrossBeam (ZEISS) for TEM sample preparation, FIB-SEM tomography and SEM investigation, with QUANTAX 200 EDX (30mm2 SDD) of Bruker system, field emission gun SEM column, SE and BSE modes.
NanoMill 1040 (Fischione) for post-processing of FIB lamellae for ultra-thin, clean samples required for advanced TEM analyses at nano- and atomic scale, ultra-low energy, concentrated ion beam device for producing the highest quality samples for TEM, free from preparation-induced artefacts.
Image Analysis Laboratory with 2 Light Microscopes (Zeiss): Axio Imager M1m, Stereo Discovery and various image analyses software.
The Centre is fully equipped with modern electron microscopes:
Titan3 G2 60-300 (FEI): a probe Cs corrected S(TEM) for analytical high resolution (70pm) electron microscopy operating at high (300kV) and low (60kV) voltage with the ChemiSTEM system (resolution: 70 pm) system based on 4 windowless Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) technology that gives the highest spatial resolution EDX mapping with enhanced acquisition efficiency and high speed for low dose. The EDX mapping capabilities at the atom column level can be used even for beam-sensitive materials. With 20 to 50 times gain in efficiency and a windowless design it constitutes a revolution for materials science. Titan3 G2 60-300 is equipped with: X-FEG Schottky high brightness source with a monochromator (an extreme high spatial and energy resolution), STEEM-HAADF unit with new dodecapole DCOR probe CS corrector, ChemiSTEM system based on 4 windowless Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) technology, GIF Quantum 693 electron energy filter for EELS spectroscopy and EFTEM image, FEI precession electron diffraction system, Lorenz lens, rotatable biprism for off-axis electron holography and TARO for full remote access operation.
Tecnai G2 20 TWIN (FEI): analytical LaB6 electron microscope equipped with STEM-HAADF detector,· EDX microanalysis system TIA, Precession electron diffraction DigiStar and ASTAR system for automatic analysis of grain orientations and phase mapping in nano-areas (NanoMEGAS).
The infrastructure of the IC-EM Centre offers the versatile possibilities to perform the advanced TEM research in the area of materials science using the top quality microscopes. In particular, the Titan ChemiSTEM (unique in Europe) added to the high brightness gun and probe Cs corrector brings the EDS analysis and mapping capabilities to the atom column level, even in beam sensitive materials like perovskites. With a 20 to 50 times gain in efficiency it constitutes a revolution for materials science and will gather the AGH effort in priority. 2D EDS analysis or mapping will supersede EFTEM in numerous situation (ease of EDS vs EELS, inadequate EELS edges, sample thickness). Moreover, 3D investigation becomes practicable in a reasonable time scale.
The AGH IC-EM team has experience in: metrology and 3D characterization (using TEM and FIB-SEM tomography techniques) at nanoscale of various innovative structural and functional materials for ENERGY production, storage and conversion systems (e.g. various phases in Ni and Ni+Fe superalloys, yttria dispersoids in ODS alloys, nanoparticles in high energy density Li-ion batteries and SOFC, etc). Similar application to the materials for: Transport (aeronautics, aerospace and automotive industry) and Biomaterials. Various examples might be provided.