FAQ

Can you work in continuous cathodoluminescence (CWCL) mode with the time-resolved system?

Yes! The electron beam will be pulsed but you can use a continuous detector like a photomultiplier or a CCD to detect signal. The Attolight standard system AND the pulsed system are equipped with a CCD detectors for continuous measurements.

Why is your spatial resolution limited to <10nm while today’s standard FEG SEM reach ~1nm?

The diameter of our electron probe is < 10 nm on the sample surface. This means that in secondary electron imaging, we can expect a resolution < 10 nm. In cathodoluminescence, the photons do not only come from very near the surface, but are created in the whole electron excitation volume that can have a typical diameter of a few hundreds of nm. Thus in cathodoluminescence mode, it makes no sense to work with an electron beam that has a diameter of 1 nm on the sample surface.

What is the liquid helium need of your cryostat? What are the running costs to work at low temperature?

The cryostat consumes approximately 60 litres of liquid Helium in 6 working days. One day corresponds to 8 hours of experimentation at low temperature.

What are the physical parameters of the system (size, weight)?

When delivered, the system is mounted on a vibration isolated optical table that measures 1.25m × 2.5m in standard configuration. The overall system (table included) weighs about 900kg. We recommend free lab space of 3.75m × 4.5m to accommodate the system.

Does the Attolight system need a clean room environment to operate?

No, it does not. The microscope is covered with a removable laminar flow hood by our service engineers during electron source exchange.

How long is the alignment time of the light collection system?

Once installed and calibrated, the light collection system doesn’t need any alignment!

How can I upgrade to the time-resolved system?

The upgrade is done by our service engineers and can be done in your lab. Basically, the continuous electron gun is replaced by a pulsed electron gun and a time-resolved detector is added to the light detection system.

What options can I choose on the standard system?

For the moment, we propose a low-temperature cryostat as an option. Later on we will add EDX and AFM capabilities as options.

Is your system also a standard scanning electron microscope?

Yes, it is. The Attolight scanning electron microscope (SEM) works as a standard SEM. You can work with it in the same way you work now on an existing SEM.

Which options do I have to choose if I want to carry out charge carrier dynamics?

You have to choose the CL 10-10 system that is a fully integrated, time-resolved cathodoluminescence system.

What are typical applications for the pulsed system?

Local carrier lifetime measurement and carrier diffusion measurements

What materials can I analyze with your systems?

Any material that emits light under electron irradiation and that is compatible with high vacuum. Typically, semiconductors, rocks, glasses, etc….

Does your system contaminate my samples during measure?

In the same way a standard scanning electron microscope does.

Does your microscope offer the possibility to electrically connect other systems in the vacuum chamber?

Yes, it does. We have added additional electrical connectors on the vacuum chamber door so that you can easily connect your custom systems.

What is Quantitative Cathodoluminescence ?

Attolight is the inventor of a disruptive technology called Quantitative Qathodoluminescence, that tightly integrates a scanning electron microscope and a light microscope into one tool. The light microscope consists of proprietary highly aspheric reflective surfaces optimized for photon collection. This revolutionary high resolution spectroscopy instrument requires zero alignment and features zero photon loss over a large field of view, leading to the ultrafast generation of reproductible and comparable results. The technology is also made accessible by everyone thanks to an innovative context-based user interface available on a wireless tablet computer.