What’s New @ CNMS


New equipment - Zeiss LIBRA TEM


The LIBRA120 transmission electron microscope, now installed in the CNMS EM facility, is an exciting addition to our imaging and analytical capabilities. It operates in the energy range between 60keV and 120keV which makes it the optimum choice for observing "soft" and low atomic number specimens such as carbon nanotubes, block co-polymers, and biological systems which are low in contrast and readily damaged when examined at higher beam energies. The LIBRA incorporates an in-line electron energy loss filter proving the option of forming an image just from the pure zero-loss signal, the plasmon signal, or the signal at a specific ionziation edge. This procedure generates higher contrast and detailed chemical information about the sample. In addition, the spectrometer can generate electron energy loss spectra for quantitative chemical and electronic structure analysis. The LIBRA incorporates Kohler illumination which provides an electron beam that is both highly collimated and small in diameter, which in turn allows for the generation of high angular resolution nano-diffraction patterns from regions as small as a few hundred nanometers. Finally, the instrument is equipped with a cryo-capability permitting biological and polymer specimens that have been flash-frozen, or prepared in a cryo-ultra-microtome, to be transferred into the microscope while being held at liquid nitrogen temperatures. Plans are being made for a two day workshop on operating and optimizing the LIBRA, and on cryo-techniques, early this spring. This will be open to prospective users as well as to internal staff members.


New labs and XRD move


Staff may have noticed that the CNMS x-ray equipment located in J-155 is gone, having relocated in the late summer to new space in the SNS Central Lab and Office (CLO) building. The new laboratory will be jointly operated by CNMS and SNS staff, and will house x-ray instruments, including XRD, XRF, SAXS, and reflectometers, from both facilities. Presently the space is occupied by the 2-axis XRD, 4-axis XRD, and micro-XRF instruments that had been in 8610-J155, plus a new Anton Paar small-angle x-ray spectrometer (SAXS) that was purchased and installed this year. Additional SNS-purchased instruments will be arriving over the next couple of months, and the SNS is providing a new low-temperature crystat for the 2-axis xrd.


The new lab has a separate chase area for the water chillers, making the room noticeably quieter to work in. Since the space is in the SNS, new training requirements are in place for prox card access to the lab, and the RSS has been updated to reflect the current requirements. For additional information regarding the x-ray facility, contact                Andrew Payzant.

ORNL Guest House construction - update

The exterior is nearly complete! We anticipate a Spring 2011 opening!