DIY electron microscope

founder: mrkva
depends on:
interested: status=active
software license: -
hardware license: -


Goal of this project is to assess whether is possible to build a scanning electron microscope in DIY conditions. There are various sensors that can be used together with SEM - the easiest one to get running is probably the secondary emission detector. However it would be great if we would be able to use backscatter detectors or even X-ray detector for EDX spectroscopy one day!

It will also be necessary to get some kind of metal sputtering working to be able to view non-metallic samples.

Bill of materials

(We'll begin with coarse building blocks and discuss details later)

  • Vacuum chamber (we have one, check if it is usable)
  • Base for vacuum chamber with airtight connectors for high and low voltage leads
  • Vacuum pumps system for fine vacuum
  • Various power supplies (accelerating voltage, focusing voltage, heater), exact parameters will have to be calculated
  • electron gun: electron source, electron optics
  • detector (scintillator + photomultiplier)
  • display - for initial tests two channel analog oscilloscope with XY mode and z input should be enough (mrkva can provide one). Later, ADC and digital processing is desirable

Proposed roadmap

  • Build and test vacuum pump system to see if we can achieve low enough vacuum (something in the range of 10^-6 Pa will be necessary)

Useful sources

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