The Nanotechnology Research and Education Center is excited to announce that the new Hitachi SU-70 High Resolution Scanning Electron Microscope has now been installed in Nanotech l. The National Science Foundation (NSF) MRI program awarded a grant in 2009 for our Center to acquire a high resolution scanning electron microscope (HRSEM) for interdisciplinary research and education at the University of South Florida (USF). The HRSEM instrument with ultra high resolution and optimized analytical functionality will provide much-needed improvement to the research infrastructure at the USF. This instrument, in different ways, affects many on-going research activities and it will provide the opportunity to conduct high-quality research and will also allow the development and creative partnership with industry. Numerous new scientific investigations will be enabled with the new equipment. 'Establishment of a HRSEM capability to support these activities will leverage current and future funded programs' said Dr. Ashok Kumar, PI of this MRI grant. The other Co-PIs were: Mathias Batzill (Physics), X. Li (Chemistry), V. Gupta, and R. Schlaf (Engineering). There were contributions from another ten faculty and the technical staff from the Center to win this grant from the NSF.
The Hitachi model SU-70 scanning electron microscope (SEM) is used for imaging, elemental analysis and the fabrication of nanostructures by both electron beam lithography (EBL), and direct write electron beam induced deposition (EBID). The SEM uses an electron optical system consisting of a series of electromagnets to focus and scan a beam of electrons over the area to be imaged. Because the SEM illuminates the specimen using electrons it can achieve magnifications greater than 1000 times that of a light optical microscope.
Electron Beam Lithography (EBL) and Electron Beam Induced Deposition (EBID) are used to fabricate nanoscale devices. EBL is a resist based lithography similar to optical lithography. Pattern designs are scanned onto the resist using the electron beam of the SEM. The resist is the developed leaving behind a copy of the pattern. EBID is a direct write lithography which uses a Gas Injection System (GIS) to deposit nanostructures by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). The electron beam induces deposition of the injected gas on the on the substrate directly, avoiding the need for a mask. Both etching and deposition can be performed depending on the gas used.
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