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LEAP 4000XSI manufactured by Imago Scientific Instruments, Madison, Wisconsin

Instrument types

This instrument, a local electrode atom-probe (LEAP) tomograph, has an ultrafast detector capable of collecting up to 360 million ions per hour. Ions are evaporated from a sample’s surface either by voltage or ultraviolet (UV) laser pulses, which allows for the analysis of a broad spectrum of materials: metals, semiconductors, ceramics, biominerals, organic and biological samples, albeit with different degrees of success. A computer reconstructs a three-dimensional image of a sample with both the chemical identities and positions of individual atoms, with a depth resolution equal to the interplanar spacing, which can be as small as 0.1 nm: the lateral resolution in an atomic plane is between 0.3 to 0.5 nm. The microelectrode in the LEAP tomograph allows the analysis of microtips, prepared by FIB (ion-milling and/or the lift-out technique to target specific features), or wire microtips prepared by conventional electropolishing. Additionally, digital field-ion microscopy can be performed with this instrument..