Mechanical design and assembly of an ultra-high resolution SEM stage
A leading manufacturer of Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEMs) for material science, life science, electronics and industrial applications. One of the key components of a SEM is the electro-mechanical module that accurately positions the sample below the electron- or ion optics, and is called a stage. Frencken manufactures an Ultra-high resolution (UHR) SEM stage, and has also developed a 110 mm stage for the same company.
Design, development and production of SEM stages
By providing images in the micro-, nano-, and picometer scales, our customer enables end-users of its SEMs to make breakthrough discoveries that could ultimately change the world. The company designs, manufactures, and supports a broad range of high-performance microscopy products, and use Frencken for the design, development and production of SEM stages for sample handling.
At the level of magnification that our customer achieves with its SEMs, even ambient noise can influence the accuracy of the sample positioning. Smooth movement with extremely low drift is crucial in this nanometer domain. Frencken is able to accurately simulate the influence of vibration and sound, and predict the dynamic performance of components like bearings, connectors and piezo motors. The simulation also helps refine the design in terms of stiffness and accuracy, enabling a plug-and-play unit to be constructed.
Designed to reduce cost price
One of the goals of the development of the SEM stage was to bring the cost price down, and this was achieved thanks to a combination of Frencken’s extensive supply chain and the capability to make critical parts in-house (vertical integration) and in our asian plants.
Frencken is responsible for:
- Mechanical design
- Assembly and test
- Supply chain management (custom product on-demand)
- Lifecycle management (incremental improvement, service and repair)
- Cost-price reduction
- Total package – engineering, supply chain, assembly and test
- Vertical integration (make critical parts in-house)
- Materials and applications know-how (e.g. gases)
- Electron optics know-how
- Cleanroom and vacuum chamber know-how