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FEI to Build World's Highest-Resolution Electron Microscope for U.S. Department of Energy's Team Project

DOE'S TEAM Project Targets the Ability to Directly Observe 0.5 Angstrom Features

HILLSBORO, Ore., Nov. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- FEI Company (Nasdaq: FEIC) today announced that it has been selected by the several laboratories that have combined to form the TEAM project, as the R&D partner for building the highest resolution scanning/transmission electron microscope ((S)TEM) in the world. TEAM is a multi-million dollar microscopy project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The project calls for a new microscope that will enable extraordinary new scientific opportunities for direct observation and analysis of individual nanostructures at an unprecedented resolution of 0.5 Angstrom -- approximately one-third the size of a carbon atom -- a key dimension for atomic level research.

In this unique project, five major electron microscopy efforts are joining forces and have selected FEI as the R&D partner of choice: Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory. Each laboratory has a separate role in achieving the ambitious mission to directly observe the atomic-scale order, electronic structure, and dynamics of individual nanostructures, even in 3D. The proposed microscope will also become a self-contained materials science lab for in-situ analysis and characterization by facilitating unique experiments across many scientific disciplines.

Aberration corrected electron microscopy technology will be at the heart of the TEAM microscope. Achieving TEAM's 0.5-Angstrom resolution would provide tighter, brighter beams, yielding a stronger signal, higher image contrast, greater analytical sensitivity and unprecedented spatial resolution. The successful development of unique aberration correctors will deliver the ultimate view of the atomic world. These correctors will be designed and developed in cooperation with CEOS, FEI's partner in advanced corrector technology.

"The TEAM collaboration has reviewed FEI, its roadmap and track record for advanced electron optics and has concluded that it is the best partner for making this ambitious project successful", says Uli Dahmen, Scientific Director of TEAM and Head of NCEM Berkeley. "FEI's new dedicated corrector platform is the most viable starting point for the TEAM microscope because it is compatible with the extraordinary stability needed in aberration-corrected instruments. We are confident that with FEI as a partner we will be able to meet the challenging goals of the TEAM project."

"We are proud of being selected by the prestigious and world-renowned TEAM project," said Vahe' Sarkissian, FEI's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "It will give us the opportunity to accelerate our capabilities in electron optics and remain the world leader in high-resolution imaging and analysis, and an important enabler for the nanotechnology era. FEI is committed to reaching the highest performance through collaborations such as the DOE TEAM project and our relationship with CEOS."

"We are extremely proud of the TEAM project's recognition of our mission to deliver dedicated corrector microscopes working up to 300kV for ultimate resolution in TEM and STEM on a routine basis," said George Scholes, vice president for FEI's (S)TEM business line. "For years we have closely listened to TEAM partners and other leading (S)TEM researchers while in the process of developing a new system with unprecedented robustness and reproducibility." He added: "We are excited about our upcoming launch of a new dedicated corrector platform which has been chosen by TEAM. We believe, and now stand validated, that our efforts will establish a new standard for nanoscale research, discovery and development. One of the greatest benefits to researchers and industrial users is that the new platform will provide important flexibility for future development of component upgrades."

"After the successful realization of our Cs-corrector for 200 kV TEM and STEM, we are happy to be selected as a partner for the development of a Cs/Cc corrector for the 300 kV TEAM project" stated Dr. Max Haider, co-founder of CEOS, located in Heidelberg, Germany. "We are confident that the work we are carrying out today with this highly-stable platform from FEI will offer new tools to scientists to address their most advanced research and development challenges."

About FEI Company:

FEI's Tools for Nanotech(TM), featuring focused ion- and electron-beam technologies, deliver 3D characterization, analysis and modification capabilities with resolution down to the sub- Angstrom level. With R&D centers in North America and Europe, and sales and service operations in more the 40 countries around the world, FEI is bringing the nanoscale within the grasp of leading researchers and manufacturers and helping to turn some of the biggest ideas of this century into reality. More information can be found on the FEI website at: www.feicompany.com

About TEAM:

The Department of Energy's electron beam micro-characterization centers propose to lead the development of advanced aberration corrected electron microscopes in user facilities and provide the necessary infrastructure to make this instrumentation broadly available to the scientific user community. Together five different electron microscopy efforts at Argonne, Brookhaven, Oak Ridge, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, and Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratories-are to build the first TEAM microscope at NCEM (The National Center for Electron Microscopy, operated as part of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). For more information visit: http://ncem.lbl.gov/team3.htm and http://www.anl.gov/Media_Center/News/2004/MSD041112.html

About CEOS:

CEOS (Corrected Electron Optical Systems) stands for advanced aberration correctors for various charged particle lenses. The company, which was founded 8 years ago in Heidelberg/Germany by Dr. M. Haider and Dr. J. Zach, concentrates on the research and development of highly sophisticated electron optical components. For more information: http://www.ceos-gmbh.de

This news release contains forward-looking statements that include statements about potential product development. Factors that could affect these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to changes to or cancellation of the project; the inability of FEI, its suppliers or project partners to make the technology advances required for the project to achieve anticipated results; problems arising during execution of the project that delay it or cause results to vary from the anticipated results; unforeseen technology challenges; and failure of a key supplier or project partner. Please also refer to our Form 10-K, Forms 10-Q and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for additional information on these factors and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. FEI assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.

SOURCE FEI Company
11/29/2004
CONTACT: Dan Zenka, 503-726-2695, or dzenka@feico.com, or Fletcher Chamberlin, 503-726-7500, or fchamberlin@feico.com, both of FEI Company
Web site: http://www.feicompany.com
(FEIC)

11/29/2004 08:01 EST http://www.prnewswire.com

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding FEI Company's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.