Gatan introduces Cipher, the first tool to determine lithium content quantitatively in the scanning electron microscope

December 07, 2022

(December 7, 2022)AMETEK Gatan, Inc., a global leader focused on enhancing and extending the operation and productivity of electron microscopes, announced the launch of the Cipher™ system—the first and only system that reveals, quantitatively, the distribution of lithium in conventional scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and dual beam instruments.

To successfully reach the energy reduction pledges of governments worldwide, researchers are developing lithium compounds and alloys to improve the capacity and storage of renewable energy technologies. Quantifying and understanding the micro-scale distribution of lithium now becomes ever more pressing during the development of this integral technology. Still, the observation of lithium in bulk materials at these length scales has remained tantalizingly out of reach.

“For many years, a method to reliably detect lithium has been considered the ‘holy grail’ of microanalysis. However, due to fundamental limits of physics, reliable measurement of the lithium content in critical materials such as those used in lithium-ion batteries has proved unachievable,” says David Stowe, SEM Product Manager, Gatan/EDAX. “With the launch of Cipher, a ground-breaking method is now available to reveal the lithium content in metallic alloys, compounds, and complex metal oxides down to low single-digit weight percentages.”

Using an original concept, the Cipher system combines quantitative analysis of backscattered electrons and the x-ray fluorescence signal to reveal lithium using a composition-by-difference method. Building on AMETEK’s expertise in detector technologies, researchers can now utilize a turnkey solution in the DigitalMicrograph® software to collect quantitative data, correlate, and analyze lithium at the microscale.

“With this release of the Cipher system, we see the accelerated innovation that was foreseen by bringing the EDAX and Gatan brands together,” commented Narayan Vishwanathan, Vice President and Business Unit Manager of AMETEK Electron Microscopy Technologies. “We now bring a reliable method to detect lithium that will fast-track the development of improved renewable energy materials.”

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About AMETEK Gatan

Gatan is the world’s leading manufacturer of instrumentation and software used to enhance and extend the operation and performance of electron microscopes. Gatan’s products, which are fully compatible with all brands of electron microscopes, cover the entire range of the analytical process from specimen preparation and manipulation to imaging and analysis. Its customer base spans the complete spectrum of end-users of analytical instrumentation typically found in industrial, governmental, and academic laboratories.

The applications addressed by these scientists and researchers include new materials research, semiconductors, electronics, geosciences, biological science, and biotechnology. The Gatan brand name is recognized and respected throughout the worldwide scientific community and has been synonymous with high-quality products and the industry's leading technology. Gatan is a business unit of AMETEK, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with 2021 sales of more than $5.5 billion.



Jennifer McKie