SEM Instrumentation

SEM & TEM stage Automation

SPRITE stage automation systems are available for most electron microscopes.

Systems comprise joystick controller, microprocessor controlled electronics and from two to five SPRITE motor drive units.

The key to SPRITE system performance is our micro-stepping drive unit, specially designed for driving electron microscope stages. Resolution is 50,000 steps per revolution, giving smooth movement at stage speeds from 10nm per second to 2.5mm per second.

You can use the SPRITE motor drive at magnifications from x10 to x100,000 and beyond. Most SPRITE drive units have handwheels so the user can move the stage manually if needed. Optical encoders ensure that you never lose position and integral limit switches mean that installation is normally quick and simple.

SPRITE motorisation not only gives you easy movement of all stage axes, but also the ability to store and recall co-ordinates, set up scan patterns, sequence moves and montages. An RS-232 interface enables stage movement to be controlled from any computer, allowing your stage to be driven by all leading EDX systems.


Motorising your SEM or TEM stage brings benefits in all electron microscopy applications, saving time, increasing productivity and reducing operator fatigue. Any electron microscope can be upgraded with SPRITE stage automation.

Computer control of the microscope stage is easy using the built-in RS-232 interface. Simple commands allow the user to incorporate stage control into any application program. Data transfer speed is normally 9600 baud, but different rates can be selected. Deben can supply sample source code for those programmers developing their own software.

X-ray analysis (EDX or WDX) can be fully automated using SPRITE automation. We have RS-232 software protocols for mostmanufacturers systems, enabling analysis of a wide range of samples to be performed totally unattended. The operator examines the sample as normal to locate points of interest, these are then stored as a point file in the EDX (or WDX) system, to be recalled as part of the analysis program. Often the EDX system allows more complex stage manipulation as part of the system software, for example, defining regions of interest, scan patterns, etc.

Image analysis and archiving can also be automated using the SPRITE stage control system. While the montage capability allows some automation in image recording, many image analysis programs have facilities for stage control, and can be set to first store the images from a number of areas of the sample, then to perform a wide range of counting, sizing and measurement functions automatically.


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