Sunday, August 30, 2015

Drill Bit in Electron Microscope

This video shows a microcontroller-based image capture system that makes it easier for me to record animations with my scanning electron microscope.

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The Teensy microcontroller:


  1. How much did you pay for the scope?

  2. I like this. I did something with a similar goal on my own SEM. I ended up using an old parallel port NI DAQ to generate the raster as well read the signal levels through a python script. It ended up being very slow even though I believe I am nearly at the limit of the parallel port. I am writing to the horizontal value every pixel and reading back the signal so raster generation uses a lot of bandwidth. This seems like a very practical solution to me. I also like the idea of offloading raster generation to a microcontroller.

    How often do you sample the raster ramps? Does this design read the Horiz and Vert signals at every pixel or read the Vert value at the beginning of the line and place the Horiz via clock ticks? One way you would have to deal with possible aliasing and high bandwidth use and the other way with a small amount of image rotation and possibly some error if the ramps aren't perfectly linear.

    This is a very cool project, keep up the great work!