APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Low voltage (<30 keV) electron microscopy
- High spatial resolution
- High energy resolution
- Rapid image production
- Compatible with existing instruments
Peter Denes and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have developed a direct electron detector for low voltage electron microscopy (EM). The detector design resembles that of complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel sensors (APS) but is modified to detect low energy electrons (<30 keV). As a result, the advantages of direct detection over scintillator-based detectors, which are now becoming available for high voltage EM, will become available for low voltage EM. These advantages include better spatial resolution and energy discrimination combined with high-speed readout. The faster image production will make it possible to create movies of molecular and subcellular processes. In addition, the detector will be compatible with existing electron microscopes.
Low-voltage EM has applications in various fields, such as biology and polymer chemistry, where the samples of interest are susceptible to damage from high energy electrons. The Berkeley Lab technology will significantly improve imaging in these fields and expand the types of images and data that can be generated with even lower energy electromagnetic radiation, such as x-rays.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2372