As a new brand of FE-SEMs, the Regulus series lineup comprises four models: the Regulus8100, Regulus8220, Regulus8230, and Regulus8240, all of which extend the functions of the SU8200 series with the use of a common platform.
With optimized electron optical systems, the new Regulus series features resolutions down to 0.9 nm in the Regulus8220/8230/8240 models and 1.1 nm in the Regulus8100 model—an improvement of roughly 20% in resolution at 1 kV landing voltage compared with previous models.
The Regulus series employs a novel cold-field-emission (CFE) gun optimized for high-resolution imaging at low accelerating voltages. This CFE gun makes it possible to magnify high-resolution images up to 2 million times, compared with 1 million times in previous models.
User-support functions have also been enhanced so that the advanced performance of the series can be fully leveraged, including functions to assist the operation of the signal detection system for analyzing diverse types of materials, as well as device-maintenance functions.
Cold field emission (CFE) gun optimized for low-voltage, high-resolution imaging with low aberration
Resolution improved by 20% than previous models
(Regulus8220/8230/8240: 0.9 nm/1 kV; Regulus8100: 1.1 nm/1 kV)
Maximum magnification doubled from 1 million times to 2 million times*2
User-support functions to ensure high performance
COLD FIELD EMISSION TECHNOLOGY
FE, or Field emission, refers to a phenomenon where high-density electrons are emitted when a strong electric field is applied to a cathode (electron emission element) with a sharpened tip.
At room temperature, FE technology provides an electron beam that is approximately 1,000 times more dense (high intensity) than conventional thermionic electron cathodes (Tungsten hairpin filament).
This FE technology has been applied to electron source development for ultra-high resolution scanning electron microscopes. The key to its practical usability is to stabilize emissions. Since the first practical implementation of cold field emission technology in a commercial SEM in 1972, Hitachi has rigorously investigated and applied ultra-high vacuum technology to house the field emitter and has thus managed to make cold field emission usable for ultra-high resolution imaging in today's most advanced SEMs, like the SU8200 series and the SU9000.
NEW STEADY-STATE COLD FIELD EMISSION SOURCE
As a result of these efforts, in the latest generation of CFE source SEM (SU8200 and SU9000), Hitachi has further improved the ultra-high vacuum conditions of the electron gun. This slows down the coverage of the FE tip with gas molecules to such a level that the FE-SEM can now be operated in the initial, truly clean tip status for several hours.
Advantages: Higher and more stable emission current, no drift of the virtual electron source and thus no re-alignment of focus.
In addition, Hitachi has developed a patented "mild flashing" technology. This technology is executed automatically in the background to gently clean the FE source at regular intervals while maintaining the high-voltage level.
This enables stable continuous operation of the new cold FE source during working hours.