FEI Tecnai F30 TEM operation instruction


1.        Sign in the logbook.

2.        Fill up the Dewar flask with liquid nitrogen and place it as shown during microscope training. If the Cold Trap was at room temperature, you may need to allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes. Re-fill liquid nitrogen during the session if needed.

3.        Login the FOM system to power on the computer monitor at the website: http://cnc.mse.gatech.edu


4.        Login the computer 1 using your own account and password. And run below software one by one: 1. TEM user interface; 2. Filter control; 3. Digitalmicrograph; 4. INCA, if you want to do EDS; 5. TEM images and analysis (TIA).

5.        Check the system: 

a.       Vacuum: Column Valves should be closed (in yellow). The typical values (log) for the TF30 vacuum system are:

b.      Gun IGP3 ----- 1

c.       Column IGP1 ------ 6 (with liquid nitrogen)

d.      High-tension on 300KV (in yellow color)

e.       FEG on ( in yellow color)

f.       If not true (the bottoms in grey color, instead of yellow), please contact Yong Ding.


6.        Removing specimen holder from the microscope.

a.       Please reset the holder position first! 

b.      Gently withdraw the holder from the column until it stops, then rotate clockwise to the stop and carefully remove from the CompuStage with two hands (as was shown in training).

7.        Insert the specimen-holder into the microscope column 

a.       Load the specimen in the holder. Make sure the specimen is properly fastened in the holder. Check that the O-ring and conical surface of the holder are clean and intact.

b.      Make sure that the Column Valves are closed (Col. Valves Closed button is yellow).

c.       Turn ON turbo-molecular-pump (TMP) by clicking Turbo on. The color of the button will first change from grey to orange, then to yellow.  Once it is yellow, the TMP is ready.

d.       Locate the small pin near the end of the holder closer to the tip. Carefully insert the holder into the CompuStage with the small pin on the holder in the 5 o’clock position (large pin at the handle in 11-o’clock position). The pre-pumping cycle will initiate and the red indicator light will come on.

e.       Select the right holder name from the dialogue window of TEM user interface. 

f.       When the red light goes off (3 minutes – the remaining time may be checked in Vacuum Overview ­Popup panel), rotate the specimen-holder counterclockwise until it stops. Then guide the holder into the microscope carefully as the column vacuum draws it in.

g.        Turn off the TMP by clicking the Turbo on button (it will turn grey).

h.      Check the vacuum level in Column (Workset Setup Vacuum).


8.        Open the Column Valve, find the electron beam and start your experiment.


 Shutting down the system:

1.      Close column valves by clicking Col. Valves Closed button in Setup Vacuum. The button will turn yellow and the Setup tab will indicate Status shown: Column Valves Closed.

2.      Reset the holder (Stage Stage2 → open flap-out → Reset Holder).


3.      Remove the sample holder from the column and insert the empty single tilt holder back to the microscope column following the steps described above.  


4.      Close software in reviser sequence. First TIA, DM, Filter control.


5.      If you are the last person operating the microscope for the day, make sure that you start a cryo cycle.  Cryo cycle procedure:

a.       Remove the liquid nitrogen dewar from the cold trap as shown during the training session;

b.      Open Vacuum tab on the Workset. Open its flap-out. Click Cryo Cycle On button. The TMP will start its operation and the Cryo Cycle On button will turn yellow. Note: If you are the last user of the day, don’t leave before starting a cryo cycle.

6.      Close UI window.


7.      Log off from computer one.


8.      Log off from FOM system


9.      Complete the record in the logbook.


10.  Complete the record in the logbook