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Madison, WISCONSIN, United States

Imago Scientific Instruments was a company founded in 1999 by Dr. Tom Kelly. At that time he was the Director of the Materials Science Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, but left his tenured position in 2001 to guide the company's growth. Imago commercialized the Local Electrode Atom Probe , providing a new type of atom probe microscope which is literally orders of magnitude faster in many performance criteria than any other recently delivered atom probe microscope. Imago has not only improved the instrumentation available for atom probe tomography, but has also developed many sample preparation techniques that are key enablers for the 3D sub-nanometer compositional information that the microscope provides.In April 2010 Imago was purchased by Ametek , which is also the parent of CAMECA. The company was merged with CAMECA as part of Ametek's Materials Analysis Division. Wikipedia.


Mutas S.,Fraunhofer Center Nanoelektronische Technologien | Klein C.,Globalfoundries | Gerstl S.S.A.,Imago Scientific Instruments
Ultramicroscopy | Year: 2011

In this paper we present depth profiles of a high-k layer consisting of HfO2 with an embedded sub-nm thick ZrO2 layer obtained with atom probe tomography (APT). In order to determine suitable measurement parameters for reliable, reproducible, and quantitative analysis, we have investigated the influence of the laser energy and the specimen temperature on the resulting elemental composition. In addition we devise a procedure for local background subtraction both for the composition and the depth scale that is crucial for gaining reproducible results. We find that the composition of the high-k material remains unaffected even for extreme laser energies and base temperatures, while higher laser energies lead to an accumulation of silicon at the upper interface of the high-k layer. Furthermore we show that APT is capable of providing sub-nm depth resolution for high-k materials with high reproducibility, good compositional accuracy, and high measurement yield. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Dmitrieva O.,Max Planck Institute for Iron Research | Choi P.,Max Planck Institute for Iron Research | Gerstl S.S.A.,Imago Scientific Instruments | Ponge D.,Max Planck Institute for Iron Research | Raabe D.,Max Planck Institute for Iron Research
Ultramicroscopy | Year: 2011

A precipitation hardened maraging TRIP steel was analyzed using a pulsed laser atom probe. The laser pulse energy was varied from 0.3 to 1.9 nJ to study its effect on the measured chemical compositions and spatial resolution. Compositional analyses using proximity histograms did not show any significant variations in the average matrix and precipitate compositions. The only remarkable change in the atom probe data was a decrease in the++/+ charge state ratios of the elements. The values of the evaporation field used for the reconstructions exhibit a linear dependence on the laser pulse energy. The adjustment of the evaporation fields used in the reconstructions for different laser pulse energies was based on the correlation of the obtained cluster shapes to the TEM observations. No influence of laser pulse energy on chemical composition of the precipitates and on the chemical sharpness of their interfaces was detected. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Prosa T.J.,Imago Scientific Instruments | Alvis R.,Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava | Tsakalakos L.,General Electric | Smentkowski V.S.,General Electric
Journal of Microscopy | Year: 2010

Three-dimensional quantitative compositional analysis of nanowires is a challenge for standard techniques such as secondary ion mass spectrometry because of specimen size and geometry considerations; however, it is precisely the size and geometry of nanowires that makes them attractive candidates for analysis via atom probe tomography. The resulting boron composition of various trimethylboron vapour-liquid-solid grown silicon nanowires were measured both with time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry and pulsed-laser atom probe tomography. Both characterization techniques yielded similar results for relative composition. Specialized specimen preparation for pulsed-laser atom probe tomography was utilized and is described in detail whereby individual silicon nanowires are first protected, then lifted out, trimmed, and finally wet etched to remove the protective layer for subsequent three-dimensional analysis. © 2010 The Royal Microscopical Society.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 499.85K | Year: 2002

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop the Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) to rapidly provide three-dimensional atomic-scale imaging and elemental identification of nano-biotechnology devices. Structural characterization of nano-biotechnology devices is currently problematic because available microscopy and analytical techniques have substantial limitations in quantitative imaging at the atomic-scale. Moreover, current microscopy techniques cannot adequately resolve three-dimensional biomacromolecules, which are intrinsic to nano-biotechnology devices. Until better analytical instrumentation is developed, researchers will "fly blind" as they develop more complex nano-biotechnology devices. The overall goal of this Phase II project is to rapidly analyze the three-dimensional atomic-scale structure and elemental composition of biological and organic molecules on nano-biotechnology devices. The focus will be on developing technologies to analyze commercial specimens using LEAP technology, and to initiate commercialization and marketing of this technology to academic and industrial researchers. The commercial application of this project will be in the area of bioanalytical instrumentation and nano-biotechnology devices.


Patent
Imago Scientific Instruments | Date: 2010-01-22

A laser atom probe situates a counter electrode between a specimen mount and a detector, and provides a laser having its beam aligned to illuminate the specimen through the aperture of the counter electrode. The detector, specimen mount, and/or the counter electrode may be charged to some boost voltage and then be pulsed to bring the specimen to ionization. The timing of the laser pulses may be used to determine ion departure and arrival times allowing determination of the mass-to-charge ratios of the ions, thus their identities. Automated alignment methods are described wherein the laser is automatically directed to areas of interest.

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