Hard-Core DIY Scanning Electron Microscope
Fig 1. Voltage contrast image of integrated circuit. Darker traces have a more positive voltage than lighter traces as the more negative traces repel the negatively charged electrons more strongly.
Suffice it to say that an electron microscope is a complicated and touchy beast. We used to have a saying, "Why is a dynamic voltage electron microscope system like a fine English sports car? Because you don't want to start one up unless your mechanic is there."
Fig 2. Diagram showing the basic functional workings of a scanning electron microscope.
Electron microscopes are filled with myriad and dissimilar technological hurdles to overcome: high voltage adjustable power supplies; precise and adjustable analog scan generators; adjustable magnetic lenses; precise and finely adjustable mechanics for physically moving the sample; and optional complex systems like x-ray spectrometer analysis of specimen chemistry. SEMs are COMPLEX!
Well ... color me stunned when I ran across this guy who home built a scanning electron microscope! Wow! This is one cool DIY project.
I bow to his geekly awesomeness! For more from this amazing DIYer and his various and sundry DIY projects, visit his YouTube Channel.
Amazing! Thanks for the tip, ujamerstand!