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1. 10. A. 11. A. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Fig. 1b) Section A-A. Fig. 1a) Heating Stage Installed Inside ESEM. 1 – Stainless Steel Heat Shield2 – Stainless Steel Cover3 – Alumina Crucible4 – Heater5 – Upper Zircar Block

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Fig. 1b) Section A-A

Fig. 1a) Heating Stage Installed Inside ESEM

1 – Stainless Steel Heat Shield2 – Stainless Steel Cover3 – Alumina Crucible4 – Heater5 – Upper Zircar Block

6 – Thermocouple 7 – Aluminium Housing8 – Lower Zircar Block9 – Water Pipes10 – Extension Arm

11 – Probe Tip

High Temperature Micromanipulation in the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM)

H V Atkinson*, P Samara-Ratna#, T Stevenson#, S V Hainsworth*, A J Smith*

*Dept Engineering, University of Leicester

#Space Research Centre, University of Leicester

  • ESEM (which has water vapour or other gases as the chamber atmosphere instead of a vacuum) allows novel experiments.
  • Micromanipulate particles at high temperature and observe their behaviour in situ eg. in sintering.
  • Challenge: to design (using FEM) the micromanipulator in such a way that the piezoelectric transducer which drives it is protected from the heat; otherwise it will degrade.

Proof of micromanipulation at high temperatures: Fig. 2 shows aluminium alloy in the semi-solid range at 623ºC after movement of the probe tip. Fig. 3 shows enhanced sintering of copper particles under force from the micromanipulator .

Probe tip (can be slimmed as research continues)

Fig. 2 Aluminium alloy in semi-solid range after manipulator movement

Fig. 3 a) Copper particles A and B under force (the arrows show particles which disappear later in sintering)

Fig. 3 b) Close-up showing neck formation at 301oC (a temperature well below the temperature it would occur without force).

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