Atom Probe Tomography in theory and practice
On March 4-8, 2019 collaborative researchers from Germany, Austria and Belgium came to Erlangen for the Second School on Atom Probe Tomography (APT).
The school was led and organized by EAM Prof. Peter Felfer and Dr. Chandra Macauley of Institute 1: General Materials Properties (WW1) of the Materials Science and Engineering Department. The multi-day intensive course provided an in-depth introduction into the high-field physics fundamentals of APT, instrumentation, sample preparation, and data reconstruction and interpretation for ~30 novice and intermediate-level APT users.
Additional simultaneous practical sessions were added relative to the First APT School to further enable the researchers to independently prepare their samples, perform atom probe experiments and reconstruct their data. For these practical sessions, the attendees were split into smaller groups to more clearly demonstrate the equipment operation. Thanks to the proximity of a Cameca LEAP 4000X HR atom probe, a ZEISS Crossbeam 540 focused ion beam-scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM), and the custom-built field ion microscope (FIM) all within WW1, participants were able to maximize the time spent using the instruments.
In addition to providing APT and ultra-high vacuum know-how, the school also gave the young scientists the opportunity to network with peers in the atom probe community who they will likely see again at conferences throughout their careers. As a key event to educate researchers in Erlangen and foster international collaborations, the Atom Probe School will certainly be repeated in the future.