Covalent Metrology Announces New FIB-SEM Services with Significant Advances in Imaging Resolution

Covalent Metrology Announces New FIB-SEM Services with Significant Advances in Imaging Resolution

The Company’s extensive roster of industry-leading instrumentation expands to include two powerful FIB-SEM systems from Thermo Scientific: the Helios 5 and Scios.

June 8, 2020 – Sunnyvale, CAThe introduction of two cutting-edge dual-beam focused ion beam scanning electron (FIB-SEM) microscopes at Covalent’s Sunnyvale, CA headquarters will provide clients faster, deeper, and more advanced analytical capabilities.

The Helios 5 provides superlative resolution for enhanced measurement and visualization – with specialized features particularly beneficial to clients characterizing devices or complex nanostructures. The Scios has comparable ultra-high resolution with immense adaptability to accommodate challenging materials: including samples previously untenable on an electron microscope. Its potent charge neutralization system enables full dual-beam manipulation and imaging of magnetic samples, and enables imaging at pressures well above vacuum. These capabilities pave the way for unprecedented applications opportunities for geological, biotech, and biomedical research, as well as metallurgical testing in the auto, aerospace, construction, and manufacturing industries.

Dr. Jeff Sullivan, V.P. of Metrology Partners, comments: “we are thrilled to be able to serve our clients’ most challenging electron microscopy needs with these two complementary systems.” Customizations on each tool have been adapted to confer significantly clearer images and more accurate measurements on a broader range of sample types. Dr. Sullivan continues: “with these instruments in house, we can deliver more advanced FIB-SEM analysis and tackle previously impossible measurements, now faster than ever before.”

In addition to the advancements in imaging functionality on each instrument, both are equipped with new scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) detectors and state-of-art energy dispersive spectrometers for more accurate element detection. Augmented with a suite of advanced automation tools for tomography and TEM sample preparation, they can each support more affordable, expedited electron microscopy analysis with substantially improved performance.

Craig Hunter, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, states: “with the installation of the Helios 5 and Scios, Covalent takes the next step forward in its mission to provide clients with cutting-edge data at ever faster turnaround times.” Covalent’s technique and services portfolio is one of the most expansive in North America. With the addition of the new electron microscopy techniques announced today, the company is now offering over 100 analytical techniques and services.

Covalent Metrology Logo

About Covalent Metrology

Covalent Metrology is a disruptive analytical services laboratory and platform based in Sunnyvale, California. Its mission is to help companies who use advanced materials to get better data and insights more easily and affordably to facilitate faster development and production. Covalent is dramatically changing the characterization and imaging landscape by combining transparent pricing, data platforms, and top-notch customer service with world-class scientists, state-of-art tools, and strategic partnerships.

Covalent has nearly 300 customers in 20+ industries.

Learn more at: https://covalentmetrology.com/

Covalent Metrology Installs Advanced Surface Analysis Instrument from Thermo Scientific

Nexsa XPS includes UPS and ISS modules; offers precise chemical mapping and the latest automation software

 

June 4, 2020 – Sunnyvale, CA. Covalent Metrology is pleased to announce the installation of a new Thermo Scientific Nexsa X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) System at our Sunnyvale, CA headquarters. This system, available now, expands the Covalent service offerings to include two new surface characterization techniques: ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and ion-scattering spectroscopy (ISS), and allows more precise, advanced analyses with XPS.

Nexsa XPS Covalent Metrology

Chris Moore, VP of Technology at Covalent, comments: Our new, state-of-the-art Thermo Scientific Nexsa gives us access to capabilities that are unique in our industry. The combination of XPS, UPS and ISS technologies, an upgraded charge mitigation system, along with faster measurement and analysis software allow us to solve customer problems that would not have been doable with older generation systems.” Covalent will be one of only a handful of service labs worldwide to operate a Nexsa system.

 

Surface chemical analysis is critical both in product development and manufacturing optimization for industries ranging from microelectronics to pharmaceuticals. XPS has long been one of the best techniques for such analysis. It is quantitative, acutely surface specific, and can assess oxidation states, chemical bonding environments, electronic properties, and more. UPS and ISS are newer techniques which provide complementary measurements of surface potential and valence band properties, as well as chemical composition of the outermost atomic monolayer (respectively). All 3 can now be executed in correlative analysis to more holistically evaluate the surface properties of your material.

 

Beyond its adaptability and cutting-edge integration of the 3 techniques, the Nexsa also resolves several limitations of past XPS instrumentation. Most significantly, its newly designed source, detector, and automation systems enable total-area maps in minutes with a lateral resolution down to 10 µm, without sacrificing meaningful chemical sensitivity.

 

Interested in learning more about surface spectroscopy, or the Nexsa system?

Join us next week on Covalent Academy! Dr. Roland Barbosa, the Director of Surface Characterization at Covalent Metrology, will be instructing a talk exploring key ideas and practical applications of XPS, UPS, and ISS. Click below to learn more about the upcoming webinar event:

 

 

About Covalent Metrology

Covalent Metrology is a disruptive analytical services lab and platform based in Sunnyvale, California. Its mission is to help companies who use advanced materials to get better data and insight about key research, development and production programs faster, more easily and less expensively. Covalent is dramatically changing the characterization and imaging landscape by combining innovative pricing, data platforms and top-notch customer service with world-class scientists, state-of-art tools, and strategic partnerships. Covalent has nearly 300 customers in 20+ industries.

For further information, contact:

Warren Wong
Covalent Metrology Marketing
+1 408-498-4611
warren@covalentmetrology.com

Asylum Research and Covalent Metrology Collaborate to Promote Industrial Applications of Advanced Atomic Force Microscopy

Partnership Includes Providing Services to Leading Edge Biotech Researchers.

May 13, 2020 Santa Barbara, CA and Sunnyvale, CA /PRNewswire. Oxford Instruments Asylum Research and Covalent Metrology announced today that the two companies have signed a joint collaboration aimed at further developing and promoting commercial applications for several advanced modes of atomic force microscopy (AFM).

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research designs and manufactures state-of-the-art AFMs for both academic and industrial applications. Scientists at Asylum Research have been on the forefront of leading AFM applications in biology and materials science and have developed a number of unique nanoelectrical and nanomechanical characterization techniques. Advanced modes of AFM can contribute significant understanding of materials and devices being developed by engineers across a range of industries.

Covalent Metrology is a rapidly growing metrology and characterization company that delivers analytical services with a diverse platform. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley and offers a range of sample measurements services alongside consulting solutions that empower customers to solve challenging technical problems across the United States.

The collaboration will focus on nanoelectrical and nanomechanical characterization of materials with an emphasis on the following areas:

Biological Measurements:

    1. Structural and nanomechanical measurements on biological samples including cells, proteins, bacteria, DNA, RNA, lipids.

Nanoelectrical measurements:

    1. Piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) — functional measurements of electromechanical coupling of ferroelectric and piezoelectric materials
    2. Conductive AFM (CAFM) — nanoscale current measurements and conductivity measurements
    3. Scanning Capacitance Microscopy (SCM) — dopant profiling capacitance vs. voltage measurements, impedence mapping

Nanomechanical measurements:

    1. Stiffness / modulus mapping in the kPa to GPa regime
    2. Viscoelastic mapping including loss tangent on polymers
    3. Indentation measurements on thin films and soft samples

“AFM is such a powerful technique for understanding a range of materials characteristics and devices. We are pleased to partner with Covalent, a dynamic analytical service lab, to continue to expand the range of AFM applications into the industrial market segment,” stated Andrew Masters, Global VP of Sales and Marketing at Oxford Instruments Asylum Research.

Craig Hunter, CEO of Covalent, stated, “Asylum Research has been providing cutting edge AFM instruments for over 20 years.  We are extremely excited to partner with them to proselytize the value of these advanced AFM techniques. And we are particularly excited to be the first analytical services company offering advanced AFM on biological samples.”

To read the full PR Newswire article, click here.

About Oxford Instruments Asylum Research 

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research is the technology leader in atomic force microscopy for both materials and bioscience research. Asylum Research AFMs are widely used by both academic and industrial researchers for characterizing samples from diverse fields spanning material science, polymers, thin films, energy research, and biophysics. In addition to routine imaging of sample topography and roughness, Asylum Research AFMs also offer unmatched resolution and quantitative measurement capability for nanoelectrical, nanomechanical and electromechanical characterization. Recent advances have made these measurements far simpler and more automated for increased consistency and productivity. Its Cypher™, MFP-3D™, and Jupiter™ AFM product lines span a wide range of performance and budgets.

Asylum Research also offers a comprehensive selection of AFM probes, accessories, and consumables. Sales, applications and service offices are located in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, France, India, China and Taiwan, with distributor offices in other global regions.

About Oxford Instruments plc

Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools and systems with a focus on research and industrial applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments’ growth and success for 60 years, supporting its core purpose to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University, Oxford Instruments is now a global company and is listed on the FTSE250 index of the London Stock Exchange (OXIG). Its strategy focuses on being a customer-centric, market-focused Group, understanding the technical and commercial challenges faced by its customers. Key market segments include Semiconductor & Communications, Advanced Materials, Healthcare & Life Science, and Quantum Technology.

Their portfolio includes a range of core technologies in areas such as low temperature and high magnetic field environments; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; X-ray, electron, laser and optical based metrology; atomic force microscopy; optical imaging; and advanced growth, deposition and etching.

Oxford Instruments is helping enable a greener economy, increased connectivity, improved health and leaps in scientific understanding. Their advanced products and services allow the world’s leading industrial companies and scientific research communities to image, analyse and manipulate materials down to the atomic and molecular level, helping to accelerate R&D, increase manufacturing productivity and make ground-breaking discoveries.

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research, Inc., Registered office: 6310 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara, CA,93117, United States. Registered in California 99-0383271. A subsidiary of Oxford Instruments plc.

For more information, contact:

Ben Ohler
Director of Marketing
Tel: 805-696-6466
ben.ohler@oxinst.com

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About Covalent Metrology Services, Inc.

Covalent Metrology is a disruptive analytical services lab and platform based in Sunnyvale, California. Its mission is to help companies who use advanced materials to get better data and insight about key research, development and production programs faster, more easily and less expensively. Covalent is dramatically changing the characterization and imaging landscape by combining innovative pricing, data platforms and top-notch customer service with world-class scientists, state-of-art tools, and strategic partnerships. Covalent has nearly 300 customers in 20+ industries.

Find out more at: https://covalentmetrology.com/

For more information, contact:

Warren Wong
Covalent Metrology Marketing
Tel: 408.498.4611
warren@covalentmetrology.com

New Anton Paar Demo Lab Commissioned at Covalent – Learn More this Week on Covalent Academy!

Rheological and Particle Characterization Lab Opens at Covalent Metrology; Dr. Sophia Yan to head this lab and lead Covalent Academy this week

May 8, 2020 — Sunnyvale, CA. — Covalent Metrology is excited to formally announce the hiring of Dr. Sophia Yan to run our newly commissioned Rheological and Particle Characterization lab. As was announced in Dec, 2020, the facility will dually serve another purpose as the Silicon Valley demo lab for our strategic instrument partner, Anton Paar. Covalent Metrology is thrilled to be showcasing their suite of instrumentation for advanced rheological and particle analyses.

We are pleased to announce that this lab is now up and running! Dr. Yan and her team can now provide measurement and characterization of a number of critical materials properties:

  • Bulk Rheological Parameters – The best-in-class MCR 302 measures both time and temperature dependence of bulk rheological parameters such as viscosity and shear modulus. Rheological properties such as shear thinning, gelation and aging are critical insights to the performance and stability of many consumer and commercial products.
  • Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) & Zeta Potential for Colloids – The Litesizer™ 500 measures zeta potential of colloidal dispersion in high concentrations up to 70% w/v in aqueous and non-aqueous media. DLS is typically utilized in characterizing the Brownian motion of particles and colloids. It provides useful information for formulation development such as stability and size distribution of dispersed particles and emulsions.
  • Dry Powder and Liquid Particle Size Analysis – The versatile PSA 1190LD can disperse, deagglomerate, and analyze the full measurement range of particle size from 40nm to 2.5mm. This laser diffraction instrument covers many applications of ingredient powders, pastes, slurries and dispersions used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, semiconductor, and biotech.
  • Zeta Potential for Solid Surfaces – The state-of-the-art SurPASS™ 3 mesaures zeta potential for active surfaces such as semiconductor wafer and pads, surface adsorption kinetics such as water filtration systems, and pH-dependent isoelectric points. Additionally, thermal management up to 40 deg C will enable temperature-controlled studies which are often required for bio-pharma industries.
Episode 7 Particle Analysis

This week on Covalent Academy, Dr. Yan will kick off the new lab launch a webinar on the field of particle characterization: what is entails, why it matters, and how it’s done. Her talk will also highlight key considerations for the industrial applications of these techniques, and comment on some practical aspects of instrumentation.

The event, Particle Analysis for Industrial Product Success, will be aired live at 11am PDT on May 14th. Click below to register for this upcoming webinar!

J.A. Woollam and Covalent Metrology Announce Ellipsometry Partnership

Collaboration Focused on Developing New Applications and Promoting Adoption of Advanced Spectroscopic Ellipsometry

May 5, 2020 — Lincoln, NE and Sunnyvale, CA. — J.A. Woollam and Covalent Metrology Services have announced a partnership to promote and further advance spectroscopic ellipsometry technology, a powerful analytical technique used to optically characterize advanced materials and thin films. The two companies will work together on education, training and marketing as well as development of new applications where the sensitivity and convenience of ellipsometry can provide key results for engineering problems.

Covalent offers a broad range of metrology and characterization services, both from its Silicon Valley laboratory and a proprietary network of partner labs. Covalent recently acquired a fully equipped RC2 spectroscopic ellipsometer designed and manufactured by J.A. Woollam. The system has been engineered to have the versatility required for many diverse applications. It features:

  • a wide spectral range from 193 nm to 1690 nm, with over 1,000 individual wavelengths,
  • a fully automated 300 mm mapping sample stage for uniformity studies,
  • a variable angle transmission stage,
  • beam focusing down to 300 µm, and
  • full Mueller matrix measurement capability for maximum sensitivity to challenging anisotropic samples.

J.A. Woollam has been the leading manufacturer of spectroscopic ellipsometers for more than 30 years. The company is based in Lincoln, NE, and will be using Covalent’s Silicon Valley facility for training and demonstrations on the West Coast. The two parties will leverage their respective strengths collaboratively to provide convenient access to world class instrumentation and expert optical modeling in the heart of a leading US technological hub.

James Hilfiker, Director at J.A. Woollam says, “The field of spectroscopic ellipsometry has continued to grow for decades and we are extremely excited to partner with Covalent Metrology to offer service measurements on some of the best equipment in the world by some of the top researchers in their area. Covalent has demonstrated their expertise lies beyond simply providing data to customers, as their team of in-house experts help users understand what each type of measurement can truly provide for their applications.”

Craig Hunter, CEO of Covalent stated, “The Woollam brand and technology is essentially synonymous with spectroscopic ellipsometry. The company has been at the forefront of this field for decades. We are extremely excited to partner with J.A. Woollam and honored that they view the collaboration with Covalent as a strategic move for them to expand their footprint.”

JA-Woollam Logo

About J.A. Woollam
Founded by Professor John A. Woollam based on a spin-off from the University of Nebraska, the company has rapidly grown to become a worldwide leader in spectroscopic ellipsometry. J.A. Woollam has been perfecting its technology for over 30 years and has secured over 200 patents, all pertaining to spectroscopic ellipsometry.

More information on the J.A. Woollam Company products can be found at jawoollam.com.

Covalent Metrology Logo

About Covalent
Covalent Metrology is a disruptive analytical services lab and platform based in Sunnyvale, California. Its mission is to help companies who use advanced materials to get better data and insight about key research, development and production programs faster, more easily and less expensively. Covalent is dramatically changing the characterization and imaging landscape by combining innovative pricing, data platforms and top-notch customer service with world-class scientists, state-of-art tools, and strategic partnerships. Covalent has nearly 300 customers in 20+ industries.

More information on Covalent Metrology can be found at covalentmetrology.com

To read the original press release via PR Newswire, click here.

Rigaku to Present at Covalent’s Inaugural ‘Advancements in Instrumentation’ Webinar

Rigaku and Covalent Academy will present a webinar exploring X-Ray Computed Tomography tools and techniques for materials characterization

May 1, 2020 – Sunnyvale, CA. Rigaku Corporation, a global leader in X-ray analytical instrumentation, is pleased to announce the debut of the inaugural episode the new Advancements in Instrumentation webinar series, presented by Covalent Metrology.

The event is part of the ongoing partnership between Rigaku and Covalent, established to support high-tech industries with the latest innovations in the field of analytical technology.  The webinar, X-ray Computed Tomography: The Superpower System, will air on Thursday, May 7th, at 11am PDT.

Rigaku develops powerful tools and technologies for X-ray characterization. Rigaku Director of X-ray Imaging, Aya Takase, who specializes in developing new analytical and measurement methods for X-ray tools will introduce the key ideas behind one of the most compelling new technologies in X-ray metrology: computed tomography (CT).

CT makes use of computer-processed combinations of numerous X-ray measurements taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional images of specific areas of a scanned object. X-ray computed tomography (X-ray CT or Micro-CT) is a powerful imaging technique that generates high-resolution, total 3D visualizations of a scanned volume of material. This process, called tomography, can be employed for flaw detection, failure analysis, measurement of critical dimensions and characterization of features such as pores or internal circuitry.

The episode will provide an introduction to CT, descriptions of field-of-view and resolution with the technique, and an exploration of recent advances in the technology.  It will address some common challenges and practical considerations for X-ray-CT operation, discuss instrumentation options and review case studies and advances in technique development.

Rigaku CT-Lab-HX130 Instrument
The Rigaku CT Lab HX benchtop X-ray micro CT system

The event will include an in-depth look at the Rigaku CT Lab HX high-performance benchtop X-ray micro CT system. With the most powerful X-ray source in its class (130 kV, 39W), this compact micro CT imaging system can provide three dimensional X-ray image of a wide variety of samples including printed circuit boards (PCBs), batteries, medical device, ceramics, and light metals. Preset scans, programed for typical conditions, require only a few steps to run.

The Rigaku Semiconductor Metrology Division designs and manufactures X-ray based measurement tools to solve semiconductor manufacturing challenges.  More information about semiconductor tools from Rigaku is available at rigaku.com/products/semi.

Covalent Metrology is equipped with a comprehensive lab for high-resolution 3D topology using state-of-the-art, non-contact optical profilometry instruments.  If you are interested in learning more about any techniques or services provided by Covalent, feel free to reach out to us any time at hello@covalentmetrology.com.

The webinar assumes no prior knowledge of CT. The intent is to provide a general overview CT application, strengths and limitations.

Rigaku Logo

About Rigaku
Since its inception in Japan in 1951, Rigaku has been at the forefront of analytical and industrial instrumentation technology.  Rigaku and its subsidiaries form a global group focused on general-purpose analytical instrumentation and the life sciences.  With hundreds of major innovations to their credit, Rigaku companies are world leaders in X-ray spectrometry, diffraction, and optics, as well as small molecule and protein crystallography and semiconductor metrology.  Today, Rigaku employs over 1,400 people in the manufacturing and support of its analytical equipment, which is used in more than 70 countries around the world supporting research, development, and quality assurance activities.  Throughout the world, Rigaku continuously promotes partnerships, dialog, and innovation within the global scientific and industrial communities.

For further information, contact:

Michael Nelson
Rigaku Global Marketing Group
tel: +1 512-225-1796

michael.nelson@rigaku.com

Covalent Metrology Logo

About Covalent
Covalent Metrology is a disruptive analytical services lab and platform based in Sunnyvale, California. Its mission is to help companies who use advanced materials to get better data and insight about key research, development and production programs faster, more easily and less expensively. Covalent is dramatically changing the characterization and imaging landscape by combining innovative pricing, data platforms and top-notch customer service with world-class scientists, state-of-art tools, and strategic partnerships. Covalent has nearly 300 customers in 20+ industries.

For further information, contact:

Doris Chun
Covalent Metrology Marketing
tel: +1 408-498-4611

doris@covalentmetrology.com

Covalent Academy Ep.05 Upcoming


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April 24, 2020

Covalent Academy Episode 05, SEM/FIB Dual Beam Microscopy; A Powerful Combination, will air on Thursday of next week, April 30th, at 11am PDT.

For this episode, Covalent SEM expert, Dave Soltz, will take you through the fundamentals of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and focused-ion-beam microscopy (FIB), including an introduction to these tools’ operating principles and electron optics. He will also be covering applications and techniques incorporating these tools, and provide guidance for how to best utilize them for characterization solutions.

Click Here to Register Now!

This week, we wrapped up our Surface Roughness miniseries with a talk on Stylus Profilometry and AFM, given by Austin Barnes.

If you were unable to attend, a recording of the event, as well as Q&A responses, will be made available shortly through the Covalent Community module of the Covalent Member Portal.

Feel free to contact us with any questions: hello@covalentmetrology.com.

 

Covalent Academy Ep.04 Upcoming

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April 17, 2020

This week Covalent Academy launched the 2nd installment of our miniseries on surface roughness characterization: Optical Profilometry – Surface Roughness Characterization for Smooth Operators.

Optical Profilometry expert, Matt Wong, provided a deeper look into optical tools used to characterize surface roughness, and supplied practical guidance for optimizing analysis on these instruments.

We are excited to report that this event continued the strong trend of live attendance for our Covalent Academy broadcasts, and we would like to thank all our viewers for spending their time with us to deepen familiarity with these metrology systems.

If you were unable to attend, a recording of the event, as well as Q&A responses, will be made available shortly through the Covalent Community module of the Covalent Member Portal.

Next week, we will be launching the finale of our surface characterization series: Stylus Profilometry / AFM – Techniques for High Resolution Surface Metrology & Imaging: A User’s Guide on Thursday, April 23rd at 11AM PDT.

Click Here to Register Now!

During the event, Dr. Austin Barnes will break down the diversity of scanning-probe instrumentation available for surface characterization, and will explain how these tools can be differentiated from optical techniques and optimized for your surface characterization needs.

Covalent Academy Ep.03

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April 10, 2020

This week on Covalent Academy, we will be continuing our Surface Roughness webinar miniseries.

Part 2/3 in the series, Optical Profilometry: Surface Roughness Characterization for Smooth Operators, will be offered Wednesday of next week, April 15th, 11am PDT.

Our resident expert on optical profilometry and spectroscopy, Matthew Wong, will be guiding you through the optical techniques we use to analyze the topography of surfaces. This includes: laser scanning confocal microscopy, white light interferometry, wide-area patterned light, and chromatic aberration. He will cover their strengths and limitations, and explore which technique is best-suited to different applications.

Register now for this event!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at: hello@covalentmetrology.com.

Covalent Academy Ep.02

Covalent Academy Episode 2

April 3, 2020

Coming up next on Covalent Academy: a 3 part mini-series on Surface Roughness. This sample property has a number of repercussions for the material’s overall functionality, and can be measured in a variety of ways. Our miniseries will cover a selection of instrumentation options for surface profilometry, and discuss optimization strategies to achieve the best results.

We will be kicking off this series with an introduction to surface roughness provided by our VP of Technology, Chris Moore, PhD. He will describe the property and its implications, and then give an overview of analytical methods used to characterize it.

The talk, Surface Roughness 101: which technique is right for you? will air on Wednesday, April 8th, at 11am PDT.

Register for the event now!