The electron microscope consists of an electron generating column, system electronics, and sophisticated software to make sample viewing, labeling, storage and analysis much easier. Electron microscopes come in various types, such as Transmission, Scanning and Field Emission, as well as vacuum levels to suit different applications. High vacuum ensures that small electrons are not deflected from their path by other gas molecules, dust or debris, resulting in poor image quality and improper sample characterization. The electron gun assembly used to generate high energy electrons is also operated under vacuum to prevent electrical discharge from escaping the system.
The need to analyze a broader range of smaller samples along with newer design specifications introduces new challenges in electron microscopy. Ultra-precise vacuum components as well as comprehensive data analytics capabilities will be required to support advances in electron microscope technology. Some of the key challenges today include:
Bouncing electrons off a sample requires a tightly controlled vacuum environment to ensure image integrity resolution. To preserve electron beam integrity, the vacuum chamber must be completely free of scratches, aberrations, contaminates and properly vacuum sealed. Our Custom Vacuum Solutions offers state-of-the-art machining, welding, finishing and cleaning, as well as subassembly, assembly and system testing of components, electromechanical assemblies and analytical instruments to Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) standards.
It is critical to maintain vacuum levels within the chamber. Even a tiny leak could compromise image resolution resulting in inaccurate results. MKS is the global leader in pressure, vacuum measurement and control. Customers turn to MKS Granville-Phillips® Vacuum Gauges for reliable, precise vacuum measurement across a wide vacuum range, from 10-11 Torr to 1,000 Torr, for the most demanding analytical instrumentation applications. MicroPirani™, Micro-Ion® and hot and cold cathode gauges offer high quality, increased reliability and superior lifetime performance.
In addition, Our best-in-class Baratron® Capacitance Manometers are top-rated in the industry. Other MKS products and solutions such as Pressure Sensors, Switches, Control Subsystems, Vacuum and Pressure Gauges and Controllers provide long term reliability and stability resulting in high sample throughput, up-time and yields.
MKS is a leader in high reliability, precision stainless steel vacuum isolation and pressure control valves. The Ultra High Vacuum Valve (UHV) uses metal Con-Flat flanges to limit outgassing and permeation for all vacuum to atmosphere seals and is assembled in a Class 100 cleanroom. The MKS family of vacuum isolation valves features heated or unheated angle and inline configurations, safety shut off valves and soft start valves.
Scientists are increasingly linking electron microscopy to other analytical techniques and platforms in order to perform complete physical and chemical analyses. With rapid advances in data networking, seamlessly connecting data generated from individual equipment platforms— typically from different manufacturers with various protocols—is becoming a huge challenge. The MKS Automation Platform can be configured to meet many automation and control applications, ranging from those requiring simple I/O or other control networks all the way up to a fully programmable controller.