FEI Co. has released its new extreme field emission gun (X-FEG) electron source module for its Titan family of scanning transmission electron microscopes (S/TEMs). The new technology combines higher brightness with the high, ultra-stable current of thermally assisted field emission. Benefits touted by the firm include increased throughput, improved resolution without added complexity to the optical system, and no cleaning and maintenance procedures as required by cold field emitters. The X-FEG also can be combined with experimental technologies such as chromatic or spherical aberration correctors or low accelerating voltages. Initial shipments of the new source are planned for 1Q09.

HR-TEM image of a partially filled single-wall carbon nanotube at 80kV acceleration voltage using a monochromator gun with X-FEG on a Titan with image Cs corrector (1 s). The high brightness of the X-FEG allows for atomic resolution imaging at 80kV with short exposure times.
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Advanced Diamond Technologies (ADT) says its new NaDiaProbes are the world’s first all-diamond atomic force microscopy (AFM) probes, offering >100?? less wear rate than silicon nitride probes for imaging hard surfaces, while maintaining a >25nm tip radii. The entire cantilever and tip assembly is a thin-film form of nanocrystalline diamond, possessing what the company says is “excellent” uniformity and low film stress; the probe tips also offer low adhesion and surface energy for imaging soft, sticky materials. The company is targeting general imaging applications, notably advanced MEMS devices, as well as nanoscale metrology, inspection, and manufacturing.

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Acutronics USA has released its AC217 two-axis motion table, a new product for testing inertial MEMS devices and inertial MEMS-based products. An integrated motion controller allows precise measurement and closed-loop control of position, rate, and acceleration. The controller supports a subset of the industry-standard Acutronic Command Language (ACL) for communicating with a host computer. An optional Web browser interface for local control of the table is also available.

Finetex Technology Global Ltd. has provided nanofiber coated filter media for Mahle, a Stuttgart-based engine components and systems specialist, to produce the company’s new Symmetrix air filter system. The heavy-duty filter media offers lower pressure loss and higher dust retention capacity compared with conventional filter media, according to the company, thanks to nanofibers that have large surface area-to-mass, high pore volume, low density, and tight pore size.

Photorealistic rendering of a Texas Instruments DLP micromirror.
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IntelliSense has released a new version of its MEMS software, IntelliSuite v8.5, which includes upgrades to almost every module and introduces several new features.

“Every corner of IntelliSuite has been updated, revamped, or given a fresh new look,” including improvements in performance, stability, and the interface, according to CEO Sandeep Akkaraju.

The company is also launching a new Clean Room product line focused on process simulation and optimization, and two new process simulators: a 3D DRIE/ICP etch simulator to simulate deep silicon etching, and an atomistic etch simulator to accurately simulate wet and dry etches.

American Elements is now offering I-Mite, a new nanoscale indium powder, in commercial scale batches to meet the needs of transparent anti-static coatings and surfaces. The material combines anti-static, transparency, and scratch-resistant properties for electronic packaging, flat-panel displays, cleanroom surfaces, and other applications. The I-Mite indium nanoparticles also are electronically conductive, a property that may have application in future photovoltaic cell designs and in medical and bioscience imaging technologies.

Virtus Advanced Sensors has introduced its first sensor product, an analog 3-axis accelerometer for low-cost consumer electronics applications???and affiliated company Virtus Asia Ltd. has developed two products utilizing this technology, including a wireless motion sensing mote kit and multi-sensing data recorder.

The Micro Sensing Mote Kit, which contains a battery, accelerometer, and Bluetooth transceiver, embeds a 3-axis accelerometer built with Virtus’ proprietary MEMS technology. It supports multi-sensing with multiple wireless motion sensing units to collect and analyze more data.

Micro sensing mote with integrated USB Bluetooth receiver and charger.
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The other product, V Logger, features integrated functions to measure and record acceleration, humidity, and temperature. It can measure vibration and handling environment of distribution packages, as well as temperature and humidity during transportation???useful for packages that are costly or contain perishable goods. It can perform process monitoring for maintenance and troubleshooting applications in manufacturing plants, and can monitor changes in remote environment for research projects.

Nanogate AG says its new N_charge technology enables the low-cost storage of electric charges in different underlying media, such as glass, textiles, and plastics. The charge is permanent and encompasses flexible, transparent, and printable applications???e.g., provide functional textiles with a permanent electrostatic charge, boosting their effectiveness as a filtration or separation medium. The technology also is being explored for low-cost construction of large, efficient energy storage devices, and in the area of acoustic membranes. Specific products for electrostatic systems and filtration are expected by 4Q08.

Boston Micromachines Corp., a provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror (DM) products for adaptive optics systems, has launched a new high-speed, high-precision controller, offering >30kHz frame rate and 14bit resolution, a 50?? improvement in speed and resolution over its predecessor in a 5?? smaller package. The new Multi-DM Controller “provides a perfect fit for integrating adaptive optics into microscopes as well as retinal and biological imaging systems,” said company president/CEO Paul Bierden.

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Carl Zeiss SMT has uncrated several new microscopy products. The SIGMA SEM can handle specimens up to 250mm diameter and 145mm tall; a coplanar chamber design provides geometry for simultaneous EDS and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD). Also, the company has added a low-energy argon ion beam column retrofittable to its NVison 40 CrossBeam workstation, to enable the production of highly polished TEM lamellas. Two dedicated models will be available, including a high-throughput version.

Crossbow Technology Inc., a developer of stand-alone Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified MEMS attitude heading reference systems (AHRS), debuted its new OEM single-card AHC525 attitude heading reference, specifically designed for integration within glass cockpit systems, flight management systems and standby attitude indicators. It offers 0.5deg rms accuracy and a flexible architecture with expansion options to allow for customer-specific features and interfaces.