Berkeley Lab

New Foundry Capabilities

Day 2 of the Annual User Meeting started off with an overview of new capabilities that are coming soon or are already underway.

Stefano Cabrini presented for the nanofabrication facility. The current E-beam lithography system is a VB300 Vistec/Leica that is the only one of its type left in operation in the world! It still works will be maintained, but we are going to replace it. The new system (Raith EBPG 5200) has arrived at the Foundry but installation has been delayed by COVID. Full installation requires an engineer from the Netherlands to come out to the Foundry. We hope to have it installed in December 2020, dependent on COVID-related travel restrictions

Behzad Rad presented for the Biological facility. Superresolution microscopy has been of interest to this facility to fill the resolution gap between optical microscopy and electron microscopy. The facility has a new microscope (ELYRA 7 ) that can perform super resolution imaging using PALM/STORM, 3D PALM, Lattice SIM. Additionally there’s a new AIRY Scan Detector to double the resolution of the confocal microscope. The facility also bought new correlative holders and software to improve imaging on both light and electron microscopes. While the installation has been somewhat delayed, the ELYRA is now installed and they’ve started training some users.

Andreas Schmid spoke next about QUINTESSENCE – quantum instrument for novel techniques applying entanglements and spin polarization for studies with low energy coherent electrons. This project was funded to try to improve the quality of electron microscopy and to be able to make better electron probes. One component of the project is a Quantum-SPLEEM – a multimodal machine with a wide range of improvements over the current SPLEEM. It substantially improves the spatial resolution and sample temperature range. Notably, the new q-SPLEEM will provide access to k-space and has an ARRES imaging mode, angle resolved reflection electron diffraction, that allows for band mapping unoccupied conduction bands above Ef. The project is also looking at improving electron sources. The current state of the art is cold field emission, where cold = room temperature. One of the drawbacks to cold field emission is that there is ignificant energy spread (300 meV). A superconducting field emission gun would yield a 10-fold increase in intensity and a 10-fold small energy distribution.

Next, Mary Scott reported on the activities of the AI/Machine Learning working group. There are many emerging capabilities in machine learning that are part of ongoing staff research. These include experimental automation that leads to automated synthesis optimization; Robot-accelerated synthesis where machine learning accelerates optimization of new crystal synthesis; Data interpretation where machine learning provides a pipeline for structure classification in imaging data; Control of material synthesis, where reinforcement learning is used to model and predict molecular self-assembly and enhance experimental tools; Using deep learning to de-noise low dose cryo-TEM images.

Finally, Jim Ciston gave an overview of the NSRC Recapitalization MIE – A large scale multi-year DOE project for $80m in funding for instrumentation over multiple years. It is collaborative project between all 5 NSRCs. There are three primary objectives: #1 – expanding limits of nanofabrication; #2 – accelerative nanoscale materials discovery and design (truly autonomous synthesis); #3 – decoding nanoscale dynamics and heterogeneity – enhance 3D atomic measurements; develop high throughput analysis. There are more levels of review ahead, but commissioning of instruments would be expected sometime in 2022 or 2023.