High Vacuum Sputter Coater
Leica EM ACE600
Model: Leica EM ACE600
Room number: 075 Whitaker Hall
Description: The EM ACE600 sputter coater is a versatile high vacuum gold and carbon film deposition instrument for the SEM and TEM sample analysis applications.
- The coating methods sputtering, carbon thread, carbon rod, and e-beam evaporation
- Up to two methods can be used at the same time on the same instrument.
- Perform glow discharge. This gives the flexibility to choose the best methods for individual applications.
- This is realized with angled sources attached to a metal vacuum chamber and
- A rotating stage to allow evenly distributed films on a stage size over 100mm.
- Precisely measured and stable parameters are the key to reproducible performance.
- The fully automated coating process ensures that the conditions are the same for each run. Besides that, the operation of the instrument is straightforward.
- Ultra-thin carbon films
- Carbon coating has multiple applications for electron microscopy. It is conductive but invisible to the electron beam and has no grain structure.
- It can be only a thin film on a section for a TEM analysis or adding some conductivity for SEM imaging
- Many samples require carbon films on the TEM grid to be processed.
- The film has to be as thin as possible, robust, and stable.
- With the adaptive pulsed carbon thread method, it produced thin films that can even be baked out for the reduction of contamination.
- Make the smallest features visible
- To see nm-scaled structures, such as proteins or DNA strands, a special coating is required.
- By coating with a low angle, it created a visible shadow. To achieve this, the coating has to be directional, fine-grained, and at a precise one-digit angle.
- The e-beam source together with a motorized 3-axis movable stage provides all those features.
- Protection for the samples
- The often fragile, precious EM samples, which were prepared in many steps and hours beforehand, need protection from the analyzing electron beam.
- A gold coating will protect it from beam damage. The goal is, as thin as possible to not cover interesting features but give sufficient protection, enhancement of the signal, and conductivity.
- The sample needs to be protected from heat, resulting from the coating process itself. They optimized all coating methods provided by the ACE600 to transfer no heat to the sample.
- The adaptive pulsed carbon thread method heats the carbon thread only for an instant of time, the sputtering process works with a magnetic field, so less power is needed to release target atoms, and e-beam evaporation works with a shutter and aperture system to shield the sample from the glowing filament.