Cryo transfer systems for SEM, FIB/SEM, beamline and vacuum platforms
The CoolLok offers rapid transfer and cryo temperature observation of specimens for SEM, FIB/SEM, beamline or other vacuum systems. Applications include thermal protection of beam-sensitive specimens and low temperature observation of materials such as plastics, polymers low-K dielectrics and hard-soft mixtures. The system can also be used for inert gas transfer of ambient temperature specimens from a glove box.
Please Note: The PP3006 is not a replacement for the PP3010, which is a full cryo preparation system. The PP3006 does not have a cryo preparation chamber and is designed for materials applications where cold fracturing and sputtering are not required.
- Rapid specimen exchange
- Temperature range down to -190°C with stability better than 0.5°C
- Off-column cooling with all-day runtime between fills
- Independent cooling of cold stage and cold trap
- Vacuum or inert gas transfer
- Rapid specimen freezing option
- 3 year warranty
Rapid freezing station (24429)
With the standard CoolLok, specimen freezing is by contact with the microscope cold stage following transfer and therefore freezing rates are relatively slowly. This is suitable for hard, non-hydrated specimens, but for liquid-based material rapid freezing is essential to reduce the detrimental effects of ice crystal growth and to allow through-vacuum transfer onto the cold stage.
For these applications the optional nitrogen slush freezing station is required. However, for many applications (especially lifesciences) cold fracturing and sputter coating are essential process steps and require the advanced capabilities of the PP3010 – a full cryo preparation system.
Vacuum airlock cold gas feedthrough Mounted onto a suitable vacuum chamber port, the CoolLok consists of a loading chamber body with built-in controls for pumping, venting and transfer. A custom-designed interface flange to the vacuum chamber and connections and fittings to the pumping system are included (see Pumping below). The interface has cold nitrogen gas feeds to and from the microscope cold stage and cold trap.
Specimen holders and transfer device The compact vacuum transfer device has an easy-release bayonet fitting to a dovetail-profile specimen holder (shuttle). Standard shuttles are included, but optional holders allow a range of different specimen types to be handled.
Cold stage and cold trap A highly stable, thermally isolated, nitrogen gas-cooled cold stage attaches to the microscope stage. The location and shape of the cold trap is tailored to suit the internal geometry of the microscope. Both cold stage and cold trap are capable of reaching temperatures down to -190°C with a stability of <0.5°C. For easy specimen exchange an LED chamber light is fitted.
The cold stage connects to the microscope stage using an adapter and has a dovetail fitting to accept a specimen holder. When not in use the cold stage is uncoupled and stored within the chamber with the gas and electrical fittings connected.
Cooling dewar, trolley and controller The cold stage and cold trap are cooled by a remotely-positioned, vacuum isolated 21 L dewar and heat exchanger assembly which at normal operating temperatures can run for up to 24 hours between fills. The gas lines between the dewar and the microscope interface are vacuum isolated for maximum thermal efficiency.
The cooling dewar sits on a floor-mounted trolley which also houses the monitor/controller for cold stage and monitor for cold trap, plus nitrogen gas flow controllers.
The specimen is mounted on a suitable holder (shuttle) and the transfer device fitted onto the airlock and the dead space evacuated to a pre-set vacuum level. The gate valve is opened and the specimen guided onto the SEM stage.
For transfer from other vacuum systems, or a glove box, additional interface flanges are available on request. Vacuum transfers can be made from the optional 24429 trolley-mounted nitrogen slush freezing station, if fitted.
The QuickLok requires either a rotary pump or oil-free turbomolecular pumping station (see Options).
CHE3010 Rapid Warming Tower
This device is meant to facilitate a rapid warming of the CHE3010 (Cryo-Heat Exchanger) associated with the PP3010 Cryo-SEM preparation system. The Rapid Warming Tower in conjunction with a 1 liter/min Nitrogen gas flow rate dramatically reduces the lag time before the SEM or Prep chamber components return to room temperature so venting can occur. A process that normally takes hours can be completed in minutes, allowing maintenance or reconfiguring the SEM back to room temperature operation. Accepts many common, locally obtained hair dryers. (Hair Dryer not included).
||RT to -190°C
||Up to 24 hours
|LN2 dewar capacity
|Cool down time to -190°C
||Typically <15 minutes
|Rapid freezing (slushy LN2)
|Dewar trolley footprint
||50 x 50 cm
||Rotary pump or dry pump
||Venting and cooling
|Power requirements (excluding pump)
|Maximum specimen size
||Flat specimens up to 23 x 26 mm. For taller specimens the maximum height will reduce from a mid-point of 9 mm. Please contact us for more details.