Replacement Mechanism for the Tips of Scanning Electron, Tunneling and Optical Microscopes
Original Publication Date: 1985-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-18
Scanning electron microscopes and scanning tunneling microscopes using metal tips as electron sources, and optical microscopes using crystal tips to focus the light beam, all suffer from the delay involved in changing the tip and then returning to normal operating conditions, i.e., re-evacuate and bake out the entire UHV system. The tip 1 in these instruments is usually part of a tip assembly 2 which is attached, e.g., by a screw 3, to an xyz drive 4, allowing exact positioning and scanning of the tip 1 relative to a probe (not shown). An extractor mechanism 5 comprising a spring clip 6 and a remote-controlled screwdriver 7 can be moved so as to engage tip assembly 2 and remove the tip assembly after unscrewing.