Hitachi HF-2000 Field Emission Gun (FEG) Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) 200kV

Start Up, Alignment and Shut Down

Getting Started

  1. Check  that all the lights on the vacuum panel are green. In addition, IP1 should be pegged on the left side of the gauge, IP2 should be in the black region of the scale, and IP3 should be in the middle of the scaleDo not proceed if the vacuum gauges show anything other than these positions.
  2. Log into FOM on the computer in the room, to start the CRT.
  3. Flip the PANEL LAMP to H.
  4. 150 KV button right above the READY/OFF button should be lit; the CRT should indicate that the ACC. VOLTAGE is at 150 KV. If yes, skip to step 6.
  5. If the CRT indicates OFF for ACC. VOLTAGE, check that the READY/OFF button on the left panel is lit; if not, tap once to light up, then step up the KV by tapping each square button, in succession, above the READY/OFF button, until 150 KV is reached.
  6. Check that the lead glass viewing window is covered, and fill the backtrap and cold finger with liquid nitrogen.
  7. Turn on the power to the VOLTAGE CONTROLLER, at the bottom of the console.
  8. Turn on the power to the chart recorder, remove the pen caps, lower the pens, and start the paper rolling (white button below red button), at 15 mm/hr, to monitor the microscope.  The blue pen for IP1 is NOT working. Mark the date at the beginning of the day.

Loading the sample

Remove the sample holder from the fully inserted position by

  1. pulling straight out ~ 1 inch, until it catches, then
  2. turning the handle clockwise (CW) 10o  , then
  3. pulling straight out until it catches again, and
  4. then turning the handle counterclockwise (CCW) 45o  as far as it will turn (to start position), releasing with the hand, and,
  5. flipping the toggle switch to AIR.
  6. Wait 30 seconds for release,
  7. remove the sample holder when red light under SPEC on vacuum panel is lit.

Load the sample into the proper holder, using a bamboo stick to prevent scratches; check for proper seating.

Insert the sample holder into the keyed slot on the goniometer; listen for a soft click that indicates that a microswitch has been contacted.

  1. Start pumping by flipping the toggle switch to the EVAC position; red indicator light will extinguish.
  2. Wait 3-4 min for evacuation; an alarm will sound for 20 sec, and the green EVAC light will glow,  when the sample is ready for insertion. If the 20 sec time frame ismissed, flip to AIR then EVAC again, and wait for the next 4 min cycle to complete.
  3. Rotate the sample holder 45o  CW (away from you); gently slide it in.
  4. Continue to insert the holder into the column by rotating 10o CCW, gently slide it in.

Getting a Beam

  1. Turn on the MANU button (green), if not already on.
  2. Record the column ionization gauge, IP1, IP2  and IT values in the logbook. If IP1 is greater than 40 on the chart recorder, do not proceed.
  3. Open the GV with the toggle switch.
  4. Pick IF2, for flash intensity.
  5. Press the FLASH button momentarily and note the current; if the current falls between 0.4-0.5 mA, proceed. Otherwise, FLASH again. If the current value duringflashing is greater than 0.65 mA, stop immediately and call for assistance.
  6. Within 10 sec of the FLASH current reaching between 0.4 and 0.5 mA, press FE. The voltage will step up in 0.1 kV increments. V2/V1 button will light when the instrument is ready. Wait for the beam current to fall  to ~10  mA.
  7. Press I1C, to bring the current back to the setpoint: 30 mA. Wait for the green V2/V1 button to light up.


Remove the condenser, objective, and selected area apertures; the x-ray aperture is out with the lever to the right. If necessary, to see the beam, remove the sample holder to the intermediate position by pulling out  ~ 1 inch, and  turning the handle 10o  CW. Note:one may choose to do the alignment steps within the central hole of a polished or milled sample, without removing the sample holder.

  1. Set magnification to 15K, in ZOOM.
  2. Check centering of ZOOM and ANALYSIS mode: center converged beam in ZOOM with BRIGHTNESS CENTERING, switch to ANALYSIS and center converged beam with BRIGHTNESS CENTERING. Repeat centering until  the beam stays within the crosshairs in both ZOOM and ANALYSIS.
  3. Increase the mag to 100K, converge the beam with BRIGHTNESS, and adjust  the COND STIG LOW MAG ALIGN (lower right panel) for the smallest size of the bright spot and concentric  expansion/contraction of the beam. The spot should have the shape of a star, outlined by a square.  If the shape is a triangle: adjust the TEM 3rd (order) COND  STIG (lower left panel) to obtain two-fold symmetry.  Constantly adjust BRIGHTNESS during this procedure.
  4. Press ANALYSIS and converge the beam with BRIGHTNESS.
  5. Adjust COND STIG to obtain the smallest possible spot diameter. When the BRIGHTNESS is converged and expanded, a well defined three-pronged image should appear in the middle:
  6. If the spot is asymmetrical, manipulate ANA 3rd (order) COND STIG.
  7. If the three-pronged image expands and contracts asymmetrically, while turning the BRIGHTNESS knob, adjust BEAM TILT controls to correct it. Note: the three-pronged image does not have to be in the center of the illumination.
  8. Repeat alignment of ZOOM and ANALYSIS at 300K, then 500K, then 1M.
  9. Choose ZOOM, decrease the mag to 100K, and spread the beam, CW.
  10. Insert the Condenser aperture: check for aperture centering, and touch up the COND STIG LOW MAG ALIGN (lower right panel) for a round beam.

If the sample was at the middle position, insert the sample into the path of the beam by turning 10o CCW.

  1. Press the red reset button below the CRT. While at 60K mag, bring the image to focus using the z-adjust knob (on the goniometer). Ufocus-> down, Ofocus-> up.
  2. Increase mag to 300K, press HVM on the VOLTAGE CONTROLLER.
  3. Adjust the HV wobble with BEAM TILT (lower right panel).
    • If illumination shifts off the screen during HV adjustment, do coma-free alignment (see below).
    • Turn off HVM on the VOLTAGE CONTROLLER.
  4. Choose DIFF mode to insert the objective aperture; center it around the beam with the aperture drives.
  5. In the ZOOM mode, correct astigmatism with OBJ STIG (lower left panel).

Alignment is complete; may you have stable beam current for hours on end.

Shut Down

  1. Depress FE.
  2. Close GV after V1 reaches 0.
  3. Set TILT and AZIMUTH and X and Y back to 0.0. For X and Y, turn the translators. TILT and AZIMUTH, use the foot pedals.
  4. Rotate out objective and selected area apertures.
  5. RETRACT the EDS detector.
  6. Leave the microscope in ZOOM. (Turn off ANALYSIS.)
  7. Record filament hours, IT .
  8. Remove the sample holder:
    1. pull straight out,
    2. turn 10o CW,
    3. pull straight out again,
    4. turn 45o CCW back to start position,
    5. flip toggle switch to AIR,
    6. wait 30 seconds for release,
    7. remove sample holder and take out sample.
  9. Reinsert the sample holder into the column.
    1. Insert the sample holder into the keyed slot on the goniometer
    2. Listen for a soft click that indicates that a microswitch has been activated.
    3. Start pumping by flipping the toggle switch to the EVAC position; red indicator light will extinguish.
    4. Wait 4-5 min for evacuation; an alarm will sound for 20 sec when the sample is ready for insertion; insert while the alarm is on
    5. Rotate the sample holder 45o CW (away from you); gently slide it in.
    6. Rotate again, 10o CCW (towards you), and gently slide it in.
  10. Increase mag to 500K to keep lenses warm.
  11. MANU off.
  13. If the last user for the day, turn off the chart recorder, raise the pens, and cap them. Log out of FOM.

Coma Free Alignment

…if illumination shifts off screen during HV adjustment…

  1. Turn WOBBLER ANGLE fully CCW (counterclockwise).
  2. Activate WOBBLER.
  3. Mag at 50K.
  4. Pick one of the coma-free alignment knobs arbitrarily, BTX (2 of them) and BTY (2 of them, upper left panel) and manipulating the knobs, compress the circular pattern as small as possible.
  5. Turn off  WOBBLER and put back to CW position.


  1. Check that the GV is closed.  The PEELS unit and CCD camera should have been off (not cooling) for at least a half an hour.
  2. Open the right lower panel of the console; flip the top toggle switch from EVAC to AIR.
  3. Open the middle panel, directly under the column, and press AIR.
  4. Open the dry nitrogen tank (behind the storage cabinet in the chase).
  5. Turn off the lights in the room.
  6. Put on gloves, pull out the dark bag from the pocket inside the right panel, in preparation for the box containing the exposed film.
  7. Wait for the vacuum to be released inside the camera chamber, pull open the door.
  8. Reach inside the chamber, lift the handle on the first box inside the chamber, pull it out, place it inside the dark bag.
  9. Remove the empty carrier box from the bottom shelf of the desiccator, place it inside the camera chamber, tug at the handle to ensure that it is secure inside the camera.
  10. Close the camera door, press EVAC.
  11. Turn on the lights, and close the dry nitrogen tank.
  12. Take the dark bag to the darkroom to develop the exposed film.
  13. Return the empty carrier box to the desiccator bottom shelf, and evacuate the desiccator by closing the door and flipping the toggle switch to EVAC.
  14. If a fresh box of film has been put in the microscope (remember to change the number of pieces displayed on the CRT), replace the loaded box from the desiccator by loading a fresh box of film in  the darkroom. One box of loaded film ready to go into the microscope should be in the desiccator at all times.