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Market profile: EELS.

Electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) is a surface analysis technique for determining the properties of a solid sample. This technology is used to study a wide variety of surfaces, including metals, semiconductors and insulators, polymers, evaporated films and polycrystalline foils. Using EELS, a thin slice of the solid sample is bombarded with a steady stream of electrons. The electrons lose some of their energy at this stage, due to absorption by the sample. A study of the energy displacement, or the energy-loss spectrum, reveals the elements present in the sample and information regarding the bonding environment of the sample. As an absorption analytical method, EELS competes with reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy.

EELS proves useful to any industry dealing with the physical properties of solids and surfaces. Industries that use EELS include plastics, semiconductors, and metals. In these and other industies, EELS is used to analyze surface catalytic reactions, distinguish between crystallographic forms of the same material, and identify the chemical state of an element.

Some manufactures produce EELS specific instruments, such as LK Technologies' LK 2000, ultrahigh resolution ELS3000 and its latest model the ultrahigh resolution ELS5000. Others, such as Gatan, manufacture instruments in which EELS is one of several applications. Gatan's ENFINA EELS pairs EELS with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Gatan has collaborated with FEI Electron Optics to incorporate its high resolution EELS with a 2.00 kV Tecnai scanning TEM. The Microlab 350 from Thermo VG Scientific is another combined instrument, incorporating auger electron spectrometry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and reflected EELS. SPECS Scientific Instruments and Omicron Nanotechnology GmbH each make an ultra high vacuum system, capable of EELS. These vacuum systems can perform other types of analysis in addition to EELS, such as photoelectron spectroscopy and low energy electron diffraction.

The market for EELS is estimated at $3-$5 million with in the double digits.
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Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 15, 2002
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