Info for Users

Each experiment in X-ray microscopy is unique and requires careful preparation and guidance through your experiment in order to provide you with meaningful data for answering your research question. Experiments proposed by research institutes and facilities typically follow a review process and are evaluated twice a year by an International Review Committee.

It is strongly recommended to discuss with the beamline scientists the technical feasibility of your experiment idea prior submitting the proposal. The beamline scientists will provide you with technical support in writing your application. Please keep in mind that the beamline scientists may not be experts in your special research field.

Check whether TwinMic is suitable for your application

Field of view

You may consider that high lateral resolution imaging requires limited object fields, in our case about 10 - 100 micron depending on the imaging mode. Image stitching is possible to about 1 mm x 1mm area.
Sample to be analysed should not be bigger than 5mm x 5mm in lateral dimension.

Sample thickness

X-rays have higher penetration power than charged particles but transmission is not unlimited. Typically organic specimens have to be thinner than 10 micron and metallic specimens thinner than 100 nm.
You may get an idea about the optimum specimen thickness by visiting the CXRO 'X-ray interaction with matter' pages.

Samples may be deposited on 100nm thick Si3N4 mebranes, Gold TEM grid or ultralene films. For more details contacts us.
Anyhow, what is good for transmission electron microscopy, is perfect for us!

Remember that the best way to plan the experiment is to contact the beamline personnel and discuss your requirements/expectations with her/him.

Radiation dose

Radiation dose consideration is an important issue as for any kind of microscopy. Please consider also whether your specimen is suited in respect to this aspect. Unfortunately we cannot offer you a cryogenic specimen environment.

Elements accessible with TwinMic

TwinMic operates in the photon energy range of 400 - 2200 eV and the soft X-ray spectro-microscope is optimized to analyze lighter elements. The graph here will give you an idea of which elements we can access:

You will find additional information in the CXRO 'X-ray data booklet'.

Sample preparation

The main reason for an unsuccessful experiment is a poor sample preaparation.
Specimen are typically mounted on Si3N4 grids, Au TEM grids (with polymer film) or polycarbonate foil supports. These supports are then mounted in a kinematic holder. Please do not hesitate to contact us for dimensions and detailed characteristics of the holder.

TwinMic offers a simple specimen preparation lab with basic tools as a visible light microscope, which allows final specimen preparation steps. Several other support laboratories are available at Elettra. It is recommended that the majority of specimen preparation is performed in your laboratories.

After the experiment

We provide you with access to your data up to one year after the experiment. Your data is stored and backed-up on a central Elettra server. Please be aware that we do not provide any support for data transfer one year after your experiment.

DOEX calculation tool

A DOEX calculator tool for TwinMic users is available by clicking here.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:55