October 22, 2018 | Direct electron detection and x-ray analysis bring new possibilities for materials characterization in the EICN

October 22, 2018

Pictured above from left to right: 1) Thermo Fisher (FEI) Titan S-TEM housed in the CNSI EICN,  2) X-MaxN 100TLE EDX; an energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer (EDX) for elemental identification by Oxford Instruments, 3) example of a Single Particle Analysis (SPA) experiment conducted on a Thermo Scientific Krios (300 kV) cryo-EM with a Falcon 3EC camera. Apoferritin molecules (480 kDa molecular weight) in an amorphous ice film. (Image credit Marc Roseboro/CNSI)

H oused in the CNSI Electron Imaging Center for NanoMachines (EICN), the FEI Titan 80-300 scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM), is an advanced electron microscope capable of atomic-level imaging and analysis on a wide range of materials and nanostructures. Through the addition of two new detection systems, the Titan STEM at CNSI offers researchers the opportunity to characterize materials at the limits of resolution with chemical specificity.

The Falcon 3EC direct electron detector, a highly sensitive camera from Thermo Fisher, is capable of video rate imaging at 40 frames per second and provides excellent detector quantum efficiency (DQE), enabling incredibly high sensitivity. This electron counting feature offers a much needed boost for both diffraction and real-space TEM imaging.

The X-MaxN 100TLE EDX; an energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer (EDX) for elemental identification by Oxford Instruments, allows for elemental mapping of materials within seconds alongside dramatic reductions in drift and beam damage.

Both detectors are further enabled by fast, user-friendly suites of new software tools for production and analysis of presentation-ready datasets. The EDX comes with the Aztec software package, which updates maps on the fly to take the guess-work out of data acquisition.

The EICN Team is excited to offer these exciting new capabilities to experts and non-experts alike. Come explore the nanoscale world with a new pair of eyes!

Contact Information:

  • For consultation and proof-of-concept testing, please contact: Dr. Ivo Atanasov, EICN Associate Director at
  • For registration and training, please contact
  • For more information on the EICN, please visit the EICN website.