Electron microscopy in the 1960s
by Tim Palucka
In 1969 RCA dropped out of the electron microscope business, having decided that they could make more money selling record albums and consumer electronic devices. General Electric had never become a major power in the electron microscope business. This left the field wide open for companies such as JEOL, Hitachi, and Akashi in Japan, and Philips, Siemens, and Zeiss in Europe.
The resolution of the best TEMs was now approximately 0.3 nm (3 Å); JEOL claimed a resolution of 0.2 nm (2 Å) for its 1968 model JEM-100B. Accelerating voltages were still typically in the 100 kV range, although JEOL marketed a 200 kV instrument in 1967 called the JEM-200. Philips marketed a very popular 100 kV microscope called the EM 300 in 1966. They claimed that this was the first fully-transistorized electron microscope,' and that it could attain a point resolution of 0.5 nm (5 Å). More than 1,850 units of the EM 300 were sold.
Ultrahigh voltage electron microscopes
From 1966 to 1969 JEOL produced four commercial SEM units, the JSM-1, JSM-2, JSM-U, and the JSM-U3. Accelerating voltages could be adjusted from 5 to 50 kV on these instruments. The resolution improved from 50 nm on the JSM-1 to 20 nm on the JSM-U3.
Hitachi called its 1966 XMA-5b an EPMA with SEM. This was more of an electron probe microanalyzer than an SEM, and was most likely Hitachi's attempt to quickly join in the SEM business. They did not really get involved until the introduction of the HSM-2A in 1971; their attention was focused more on the UHV EM market during the 1960s.
Philips' only foray into scanning microscopy came in 1968 with the development of a scanning attachment for its 1966 model EM 300. This attachment turned the TEM into an STEM. Their first dedicated SEM was the PSEM 500, introduced in 1972.
This page was updated on 19 July 2002 by Arne Hessenbruch.