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JEOL : Patent Issued for Transmission Electron Microscope (USPTO 9595416)

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03/23/2017 | 08:08pm CEST

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- A patent by the inventor Yamazaki, Kazuya (Tokyo, JP), filed on February 25, 2015, was published online on March 14, 2017, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 9595416 is assigned to JEOL Ltd. (Tokyo, JP).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Field of the Invention

"The present invention relates to a transmission electron microscope.

"Description of Related Art

"In a transmission electron microscope, an objective lens is used as a lens for focusing and imaging an electron beam. A magnetic objective lens assembly is disclosed as one type of such an objective lens, for example, JP-A-2005-32588.

"However, where a magnetic sample that is susceptible to the effects of a magnetic field is observed with a transmission electron microscope, there is the problem that the magnetic properties of the sample are affected by the magnetic field of the objective lens. That is, when a sample susceptible to the effects of a magnetic field is placed under the influence of the magnetic field produced by an objective lens, the intrinsic state of the sample may not be observed.

"Therefore, the objective lens assembly forth in JP-A-2005-32588 has a first magnetic lens and a second magnetic lens for producing magnetic fields near a sample placement region which extends along the optical axis and in which a sample is to be placed. The objective lens assembly is so configured that, in the sample placement region, the magnetic fields produced by the first and second magnetic lenses, respectively, cancel out to zero.

"In an electron microscope, electron lenses made of a ferromagnetic substance such as iron are used. An optical system for the microscope is constituted by stacking such electron lenses on top of each other. Accordingly, a magnetic circuit is formed over the whole electron microscope. Therefore, it follows that the effects of magnetic fields arising from other than the objective lens reach the surroundings of the sample. For this reason, if the magnetic fields produced by the first and second magnetic lenses of the objective lens assembly set forth in JP-A-2005-32588 cancel out to zero, the effects of magnetic fields produced other than from the objective lens assembly reach the surroundings of the sample.

"For example, during observation using an electron microscope, the excitation of the imaging lens system is varied such as a variation in the magnification. This in turn varies the magnetic field. The effects of this variation may reach the surroundings of the sample via the magnetic circuit.

"It is estimated that the magnitude of the effects of magnetic fields produced from other than the objective lens assembly, i.e., the magnitude of the effects of stray magnetic fields at the position of the sample, is on the order of hundreds of .mu.T (microteslas). If there is a weak magnetic field on the order of hundreds of .mu.T in this way, and if a material with high magnetic permeability (.chi. is approximately 10.sup.6) is used, the problem cannot be neglected. If the magnetic field is as weak as hundreds of .mu.T, displacement of magnetic domains or variations in the morphology of magnetic domains may occur in a magnetic substance with high magnetic permeability. The principal purpose of analysis of a magnetic substance is morphological observation of a magnetic domain distribution inside the magnetic substance. To permit this observation, surrounding magnetic fields need to be made as low as possible. Also, movement of magnetic domains and morphological variations in the magnetic domains should be avoided."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "In view of the foregoing problem, the present invention has been made. One object associated with some aspects of the present invention is to offer a transmission electron microscope capable of reducing the effects of stray magnetic fields.

"(1) A transmission electron microscope associated with the present invention has: an electron beam source producing an electron beam; an illumination lens system for causing the electron beam from the electron beam source to impinge on a sample; a sample stage for holding the sample thereon; a first objective lens having an upper polepiece and a lower polepiece located on opposite sides of the sample, the upper and lower polepieces cooperating to produce a magnetic field; a second objective lens disposed behind the first objective lens; an imaging lens system disposed behind the second objective lens; and a controller for controlling the first and second objective lenses. The controller performs an operation for controlling the second objective lens to construct a transmission electron microscope image of the sample from the electron beam transmitted through the sample. The controller further performs an operation for controlling the first objective lens according to imaging conditions to produce a magnetic field that cancels out stray magnetic fields at a position where the sample is placed.

"In this transmission electron microscope, the second objective lens focuses the transmission electron microscope image. The first objective lens produces the magnetic field that reduces the stray magnetic fields. Consequently, the effects of the stray magnetic fields can be reduced. With this transmission electron microscope, therefore, a sample susceptible to the effects of a magnetic field produced by a magnetic substance can be observed without varying the state of the sample.

"(2) In one feature of this transmission electron microscope, during the operation for producing a magnetic field that cancels out the stray magnetic fields, the excitation current of the first objective lens may be found, using a function indicating a relation between the excitation current of the imaging lens system and the excitation current of the first objective lens for canceling out the stray magnetic fields.

"In this transmission electron microscope, even if the amount of stray magnetic fields at the position of the sample is varied, for example, concomitantly with a variation of the excitation current (such as the final magnification) of the imaging lens system, a magnetic field that cancels out the stray magnetic fields can be produced by the first objective lens according to the variation in the amount of the stray magnetic fields.

"(3) In a further feature of this transmission electron microscope, during the operation for producing a magnetic field that cancels out the stray magnetic fields, the excitation current of the first objective lens may be found, using a function indicating a relation between the excitation current of the second objective lens and the excitation current of the first objective lens for canceling out the stray magnetic fields.

"In this transmission electron microscope, even if the amount of stray magnetic fields at the position of the sample is varied, for example, concomitantly with a variation in the excitation current of the second objective lens (such as a focus value), a magnetic field that cancels out the stray magnetic fields can be produced by the first objective lens according to the variation in the amount of stray magnetic fields.

"(4) In a still other feature of this transmission electron microscope, during the operation for producing a magnetic field that cancels out the stray magnetic fields, the excitation current of the first objective lens may be found, using a function indicating a relation between the excitation current of the illumination lens system and the excitation current of the first objective lens for canceling out the stray magnetic fields.

"In this transmission electron microscope, if the excitation current of the illumination lens system is varied to thereby vary the amount of the stray magnetic fields at the position of the sample, it is possible to cause the first objective lens to produce a magnetic field that cancels out the stray magnetic fields according to variations in the amount of stray magnetic fields.

"(5) In an additional feature of this transmission electron microscope, there is further provided a magnetic field sensor for detecting external magnetic fields. The controller may perform an operation for controlling the first objective lens on the basis of results of a detection performed by the magnetic field sensor to produce a magnetic field that cancels out the stray magnetic fields.

"In this transmission electron microscope, the effects of stray magnetic fields (i.e., external magnetic fields) at the position of the sample can be reduced.

"(6) In one feature of this transmission electron microscope, the controller may find the excitation current of the first objective lens, using a function indicating a relation between the amount of the external magnetic fields and the excitation current of the first objective lens for canceling out the stray magnetic fields.

"In this transmission electron microscope, if the amount of the external magnetic fields varies to thereby vary the amount of stray magnetic fields at the position of the sample, it is possible to cause the first objective lens to produce a magnetic field that cancels out the stray magnetic fields.

"(7) In a further feature of this transmission electron microscope, the microscope may further include a polarity inverter for controlling the polarity of the first objective lens.

"In this transmission electron microscope, the polarity of the first objective lens can be reversed. Thus, in this microscope, the direction of the magnetic field produced by the first objective lens can be controlled.

"(8) In an additional feature of this transmission electron microscope, the controller may perform an operation for controlling the first objective lens to apply a given magnetic field to the position where the sample is placed.

"In this transmission electron microscope, a desired magnetic field can be applied to the sample. This microscope permits one to observe a magnetic sample while applying a desired magnetic field to the sample.

"(9) In a still other feature of this transmission electron microscope, the operation for applying a given magnetic field to the position where the sample is placed may be performed after the operation for producing a magnetic field that cancels out the stray magnetic fields.

"In this transmission electron microscope, a desired magnetic field can be applied to the sample while reducing the effects of stray magnetic fields.

"(10) In a yet additional feature of this transmission electron microscope, there may be further provided a magnetic eraser for supplying a given current to the first objective lens to erase a residual magnetic field in the first objective lens.

"In this transmission electron microscope, the effects of the residual magnetic field in the first objective lens can be reduced.

"(11) In a further additional feature of this transmission electron microscope, there may be further provided: a scanning signal generator for generating a scanning signal; and scan coils for scanning the electron beam over the sample on the basis of the scanning signal.

"This transmission electron microscope can obtain scanning transmission electron microscope images."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Yamazaki, Kazuya. Transmission Electron Microscope. U.S. Patent Number 9595416, filed February 25, 2015, and published online on March 14, 2017. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9595416.PN.&OS=PN/9595416RS=PN/9595416

Keywords for this news article include: JEOL Ltd., Electronics, Magnetic Circuits, Technology Companies, Scientific and Technical Instrument Companies.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2017, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2017 NewsRx LLC, source Science Newsletters

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