"This is a truly revolutionary technology," stated
Flannigan added, "The literature already contains a wide variety of UEM applications described over two generations of instrument development in Zewail's lab at Cal Tech since he began this work in 2004. For instance, we looked at the mechanical properties and photoactuation of silicon nitride cantilevers and at the photo-induced heating and expansion of carbon nanotubes. Looking forward, we plan to focus our attention on the development of new applications with important practical value. For example, we want to look at the crystallization of biological macro molecules preparatory to structural analysis, which could lead to important advances in understanding the structure-function relationships of complex living systems."
The Tecnai Femto is a member of FEI's Tecnai family of transmission electron microscopes (TEM). It has been modified to accommodate ultra short laser pulses that stimulate a brief "flash" of photoelectrons from the electron source, and a precisely-timed pulse of laser energy directed at the sample as a stimulus. To achieve the highest temporal resolution when observing reversible processes, the Tecnai Femto UEM operates in stroboscopic mode where a large number of precisely-timed flashes, each containing as few as a single electron, build up a representative image of the sample at a given delay between stimulus and flash. The delay is then adjusted incrementally and another image acquired, resulting ultimately in a sequence of images much like the frames of a motion picture. For irreversible processes, such as fractures, the instrument can be operated in the single pulse mode with many electrons in the pulse, but unlike the femtosecond single-electron mode, the time resolution reaches picoseconds to nanoseconds because of Coulomb repulsion. Importantly, the instrument can also be operated in conventional continuous-beam TEM mode.
For more information about the Tecnai Femto UEM, please visit www.fei.com/tecnai-femto.
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