MEMS TEM - OPUS 11 (23.02.2017 – 22.02.2020)

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The objective of the project financed by Poland’s National Science Centre, entitled “Miniature MEMS-type transmission electron microscope” is to examine the possibility of manufacture of electron microscope using MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) technology, according to a completely new concept that involves the integration of all the elements of electron microscope on a single chip. The main condition to achieve this goal is to prepare all the individual components of the microscope, using the same materials and the same fabrication processes. According to our assumptions microscope on-chip will be constructed as a silicon-glass multilayer structure, comprising a field electron source, an electron optics column, a high vacuum micropump, a detection system and an observation microchamber. All the elements will be hermetically encapsulated and will form together a vacuum housing. In the final step the model of a complete microscope will be prepared and its functional parameters will be examined.

The most evident advantages of the proposed solution will be its small size, light weight and low price, which should lead to more common application, not only in specialized laboratories. The success of the project will have also high scientific value. It would be the first evidence that it is possible to apply a MEMS technology to form a complete miniature electron beam devices. It would open up a way to fabricate other small-scale devices like miniature X-ray and THz sources, free electron lasers and mass spectrometers. So far they exist either at the concept stage or do not meet all the requirements of miniaturization.