For non-conductive specimens that cannot be effectively SEM- or FIB-imaged with some combination of low voltage, low current, zero detector bias, and scanning filters, depositing a thin (e.g. 2-10 nm), conductive layer of carbon on the surface can help. This carbon evaporator produces amorphous, conductive films, the morphology of which is not detectable in an SEM or FIB image. After imaging is complete, the carbon can be gently removed with an O2 plasma using, for example, the lab's Tergeo Plus Plasma Cleaner.
- Coat material surface to make sample conductive for use in an SEM or FIB
- Coat resist surface to make sample conductive for use with e-beam lithography
- Apply carbon to a specimen or device for any other fabrication use
SOP & Troubleshooting
- SOP & Troubleshooting Guide
- The procedure to install a new carbon thread can be found on Page 39 of the Operating Manual
- Note: always install as a "double thread," i.e. double the thread back over itself before installing – a thread length that is approximately twice the length of the evaporator's door width is long enough to double over and install.
Carbon Evaporation Specifications
- Average Deposition Rate: ~1 nm per pulse, when using a double thread (i.e. a thread that is doubled over on itself; see notes in SOP section above)
- Monitor deposition thickness using the quartz crystal thickness monitor, or simply program the number of pulses that you want
Related Instrumentation in the KNI
Sample Preparation for Microscopy
- Oxygen & Argon Plasma Cleaner (Tergeo Plus ICP- & CCP-RIE) to remove hydrocarbons from surface
- Carbon Evaporator (Leica EM ACE600) to make samples conductive
- TEM Sample Preparation Equipment: Polishing Stations, 3 mm Disk Cutter, Dimpler, Argon Ion Mill