TOOLS & TECHNIQUES UPDATE
Variable temperature fridges Cambridge Magnetic Refrigeration (CMR) has designed two new refrigeration systems for materials characterization applications. The mF-VTI (variable temperature insert) refrigerator has a temperature range of 1.5-50 K, while the mF-VTS (variable temperature stage) system allows measurements from 1.5 K to room temperature. Both products offer precise temperature control when selecting and holding temperatures or sweeping across a range. The systems can also be used with CMR’s AC resistivity and susceptibility measurement options. A range of magnet options is available, from largebore 1 T to 3 T, 6 T, and 9 T magnets. Zero field compensation windings can be incorporated for superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) measurements. The mF-VTI refrigerator insert can be moved between two sample magnet regions for experimental variation. Fittings are interchangeable across all of CMR’s refrigeration systems. Contact: www.cmr.uk.com
Rotation but no leaks The MRD series of rotary vacuum feedthroughs from Thermo Vacuum Generator eliminates a key source of leaks and contamination in high vacuum applications. The rotary motion is magnetically coupled from atmosphere into vacuum through a static metal barrier without the need for bellows, shaft seals, or ferrofluids. By making use of the high torque and high lifetime magnetic coupling, system reliability is improved, and there is a lower cost of ownership. Precision positioning and exact rotational speed control are possible. Contact: www.thermovacgen.com
Compact positioning The TRITOR 100 SG Compact is a three-axis nanopositioning system based on piezoelectric actuators. The device from piezosystem jena is only 40 × 40 × 34 mm in size and can be easily combined with other mechanical positioning systems. Potential applications of the nanopositioner include optics and laser tuning, fiber positioning, and scanning with atomic force or scanning near field optical microscopes. The TRITOR 100 SG Compact offers subnanometer positioning and resolution, with 80 µm closed loop motion in all three axes. In addition, the device can be used for vacuum and low temperature applications. Contact: www.piezojena.com
A new atomic force microscope (AFM) probe for precise positioning and high-resolution imaging is available from NANOSENSORS™. The AdvancedTEC™ sensor has a tetrahedral tip that protrudes from the apex of the triangular free end of a rectangular cantilever. This design allows precise positioning of the probe. It also makes the tip visible through the optical system of the AFM, even when the probe is slightly tilted because of its mounting. This is useful for manipulation on the nanoscale, for example. The tip shows good performance on samples with small pattern sizes and steep sidewalls.
Software finds its peak A software package for quantitative analysis of X-ray diffraction (XRD) data includes measurement, extraction, and correction routines. X’Pert Quantify from PANalytical is designed for its XRD systems, including those up to 15 years old. The software accepts scans, peakintensity, and integrated area measurements as inputs. Analysis is based on correlation between intensities of individual reflections with the concentrations of the corresponding phases. No knowledge of the crystal structure is required. The software provides access to all currently accepted analytical models. A broad range of correction methods is also available to give the net intensity of a reflection with high accuracy. Contact: www.panalytical.com
Spectroscopy finds new SynerJY Jobin Yvon is releasing SynerJY™, a software package for spectroscopic data acquisition and analysis. It provides control of spectrometers, detectors, and automated accessories. It can also read singleand multi-channel detectors simultaneously. Processing and presentation tools are accessed via a user-friendly interface. Data can be viewed using three-dimensional plots, contour maps, or CCD images. Advanced mathematical functions can be performed, custom views created, and data can be exported in a variety of formats for further use. Contact: www.jobinyvon.co.uk
DigiView II is an updated version of TSL’s advanced camera system for electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) analysis in the scanning electron microscope. The new camera has improved speed, sensitivity, and higher resolution. Designed to give the broad range of performance required for handling all EBSD applications, the camera can collect 70 patterns per second with an indexing accuracy of 99.9%.
New version of GENESIS EDAX Inc.’s microanalysis software for energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) is available in a new version. GENESIS 3.6 includes the new features of phase cluster analysis (PCA), gun shot residue, and free draw. PCA is a new statistical analysis method for spectral mapping data. It can automatically find phases in the EDS data and maps can be built with reference to a phase library. Free draw is a tool that allows scanning for a spectrum over an area selected by drawing free hand on an image.
Improved EBSD camera