XRF Webinar to play in Marcus Lobby – July 14th

We will be presenting a Webinar about XRF (X-ray fluorescence) from Bruker on the large monitor in Marcus on July 14th at 10:00AM.

XRF  is a non-destructive analytical technique used to determine the elemental composition of materials. XRF analyzers determine the chemistry of a sample by measuring the fluorescent (or secondary) X-ray emitted from a sample when it is excited by a primary X-ray source.

The webinar will describe how the M4 TORNADO can be used to identify high and low angle grain boundaries as well as twin boundaries in crystalline materials. From polycrystalline silicon wafers to aluminum samples and welding joint, the method presented in this webinar allows the user to obtain information on the crystals such as size and distribution.


More information can be found here.

If XRF is a technique that your research group is particularly interested in, please contact me at david.tavakoli at

Low-voltage EDS & SEM webinar on screen in lobby

Attention Users:

Bruker & Hitachi are having a webinar on low-voltage EDX and SEM imaging that we will be streaming on the monitor in the MCF lobby on Tuesday at 4pm (e.g. tomorrow).  It will run 4pm-4:45pm.  Staff will be available for questions afterwards.  The agenda is as follows:

Think Outside the Lab for advanced imaging with the latest Cold-Field-Emission SEM and FlatQUAD Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) for high-speed and high-sensitivity X-ray microanalysis.

Hitachi High Technologies & Bruker Nano Analytics invite you to a free webinar, “Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy with CFE Technology.” Registration is required. Please register today!




MCF staff co-authors on Microscopy Today article

Two MCF staff members, Todd Walters and Eric Woods, are co-authors on a new paper recently published in Microscopy Today with primary author Yoichiro Hashimoto from Hitachi High-Technologies Corp.  This paper demonstrates the behavior of various materials under beam voltages (accomplished via deceleration) from 0.2-1.0kV in the Hitachi 8230 and compares experimental and reference / predicted behavior in contrast in BSE images under those conditions.

Hashimoto – Image contrast in EF BSE images at ultra low accel voltages – Mic Today – 2016

Denver X-Ray Conference

Hello everyone!

The 2016 Denver X-ray Conference is heading to Chicago and they are looking for students! The 65th Annual Conference on Applications of X-ray Analysis will be held at the Westin O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois from August 1st – August 5th.  They offer many student incentives, including a low student registration fee, reduced cost student housing, Robert L. Snyder Student Travel Grants, the Jerome B. Cohen Student Award, a student pizza lunch with the DXC Organizing Committee, and Best Student Poster awards.

The deadline is June 1st for all Robert L. Snyder Student Travel Grant applications, and for the Jerome B. Cohen Student Award. Visit the ICDD website to read more about the awards, the application requirements, and other opportunities available to students who attend DXC.

Two TEM/STEM related Seminars This Friday (May 20) Marcus 1116

Seminar 1       

Putting the back focal plane back into STEM: fun with fast pixelated detectors

Dr. Ian MacLaren

University of Glasgow, School of Physics and Astronomy

Location: Marcus Nanotechnology building Rm1116,

Time: May 20, 2016 2:30PM

Abstract:  STEM has typically used HAADF imaging for a very simple and interpretable contrast.  In recent years, there has also been a resurgence of interest in bright field and annular bright field imaging in STEM in order to see lighter atoms.  However, there is much more information than this in the back focal plane, and with the advent of fast direct electron detectors, it is now possible to actually record large amounts of the back focal plane and then process the dataset to extract a variety of kinds of information.  We show the uses of this for mapping magnetic fields in materials, imaging biological structures, performing atomic resolution phase-contrast imaging, and for mapping the 3D ordering in crystals.  As part of the talk, we will discuss the integration of such a detector into a modern analytical STEM, as well as how we are dealing with data handling and processing.

Seminar 2

High Temperature Corrosion Studies of Zircaloy- 4

Kirsty Annand

University of Glasgow, School of Physics and Astronomy

Abstract: Worldwide, Zircaloy-4 (Zr-1.5%Sn-0.2%Fe-0.1%Cr) is a popular material of choice for the containment of nuclear fuel and other structural components within commercial Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs). However, waterside corrosion of these cladding materials results in the creation of an oxide layer on the surface of the metal, which degrades these containment vessels over time.

Using dual-range electron energy loss spectroscopy (DualEELS) on a GIF Quantum mounted on our JEOL ARM200F scanning transmission electron microscope, we have studied the evolution of the corrosion of Zircaloy-4 with time under simulated PWR conditions, using FIB preparation of cross sections through the oxide scale. This allowed us to simultaneously study changes in chemical composition and dielectric function of the material at the oxide scale – metal interface with nanometre resolution.  This has allowed the correlation of the appearance of different distinct phases with the zirconium-oxygen ratio.

Furthermore, the corrosion and incorporation of Secondary Phase Particles (SPPs) in to this oxide layer in Zircaloy-4 material has been investigated. In particular, we have focused on mapping the corrosion of Zr2Fe and Zr(Cr,Fe)2 precipitates during the oxidation process, depicting their morphology as the oxidation front advances through the material.

This nanoanalytical approach reveals the true complexity of the oxidation of Zircaloy-4 – an understanding of which will be necessary for the development of sophisticated models of their influence on oxidation behaviour.