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Covalent Metrology Expands Electron Microscopy Capabilities

Covalent Metrology, a provider of analytical services in North America, has announced the installation of two new Thermo Fisher Scientific Helios 5 UC DualBeam focused-ion-beam scanning electron microscopes (FIB-SEMs). Covalent now has four (4) Helios 5 microscopes, which is believed to be the most extensive fleet of new DualBeams among any service labs in North America.

The company’s instrument acquisitions parallel growth in its electron microscopy teams: joined by four new technical staff in the last quarter. With expanded tool and team capacity, Covalent can meet the growing demand for electron microscopy services in the Silicon Valley area and beyond. Clients developing nanomaterials, semiconductor devices, electronics, and medical technologies will all benefit from faster access to nanoscale-resolution imaging.

Covalent now offers a robust portfolio of FIB-SEM capabilities in-house, providing faster turnaround times and reliable morphological characterization on flexible materials and sample types. The company’s Scios DualBeam is uniquely capable of magnetic sample analysis and can operate above vacuum pressure to accommodate charge dissipation on less conductive samples. Multiple FIB-SEM microscopes, including the Scios, have Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) detectors, to quantitatively measure and map elemental composition. To support more robust crystallographic analysis, Covalent’s new Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) system illuminates properties such as crystal structure, orientation, phase boundaries, and the degree of crystalline perfection. Soon, Covalent will offer in-house 3D FIB-SEM tomography to combine these insights with nanoscale imaging in 3D, giving clients a full picture of the structures and chemistry in their advanced materials and devices.

Additionally, for most industrial S/TEM applications, FIB-SEMs facilitate the preparation of electron-transparent samples. Quality preparation can unlock atomic-scale resolution for fundamental solid-state structural analysis of crystalline, amorphous, or multiphase materials. All Covalent’s FIB-SEM tools are equipped for lamella lift-out. Covalent can now generate ultra-thin S/TEM lamella more quickly and with greater precision, leading to faster and higher-quality S/TEM results.

“The new instrumentation and expertise on Covalent’s electron microscopy teams are equipped to address just about any analytical question a client may have,” commented Craig Hunter, Chief Executive Officer of Covalent Metrology, “We are now well-staffed and equipped to address a range of advanced applications, including nanomanipulation, crystallographic analysis, or even full 3D reconstructions with multi-signal detection. Covalent has extended both its capacity and capabilities to deliver the latest, cutting-edge microscopy solutions to a growing market.”

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