MMR Technologies

Micro Cooler for SEM/AFM


MMR's SEM Cold Stage is designed to mount on the sample stage of a scanning electron microscope. Samples can be studied under the electron microscope at any temperature over the operating range of the refrigerator. Flexible gas and electrical lines allow the cold stage to be moved freely with the microscope stage and oriented over a wide angular range for imaging. The same stage can be used in sputtering chambers or other high vacuum systems.


In addition to the refrigerator, a temperature controller is needed, either manual or programmable; a source of dry nitrogen (99.998% purity); and a filter dryer.

  • Operating Temperature: 80 K to 730 K
  • Temperature Stability: ± 0.1 K with K-20 Programmable Controller
  • Temperature Response: 1 K/sec
  • Cooling Capacity: 250 mW at 85 K with nitrogen; 500 mW with Ar at 90 K.
  • Cold Pad Size: 14 mm x 10 mm
  • Cold Stage Dimensions: 57 mm L x 25mm W x 11mm D
  • Gas Consumption: 2.0 liters/min (STP)
  • Operating Pressure: 1800 psia
  • Weight of Cold Stage: 67 g (2.4 oz)



MMR's AFM cold stages are designed to facilitate temperature-correlated studies using atomic force microscopes, to understand how sample characteristics and morphology vary with temperature. For AFM work, the variable-temperature stage must be extremely low in vibration and must provide high levels of temperature control and stability, and MMR refrigerators are designed to provide these critical qualities. Testing has shown vibration amplitudes to be less than 2.4 angstroms.


With simple modifications, MMR's variable-temperature stages may be mounted into many different atomic force microscopes, including systems from Pacific Nanotechnology and the Veeco Metrology Group (Explorer, Enviroscope, Multimode). The photo below shows an MMR refrigerator in use on a Pacific Nanotechnology AFM system.


In addition to the refrigerator and vacuum chamber, a temperature controller is needed, either manual or programmable; a source of dry nitrogen or argon; a filter dryer; and vacuum pump capable of maintaining a vacuum <5 mTorr in the chamber. Other accessories that add to the convenience of operating the system are available from MMR.

  • Operating Temperature Ranges:

           -10°C to +125°C

           -10°C to +300°C

           -10°C to +450°C

            Room Temperature to +450°C

  • Operating Environment: Ambient Temperature, Ambient Pressure
  • Operating Gases: Nitrogen or Argon at 1800 psi
  • Temperature Setting Accuracy: ± 0.5°C with K-20 Programmable Controller
  • Temperature Stability below 125° C: ± 0.5° C
  • Temperature Stability above 125° C: ± 2° C
  • Cold Pad Size: 1cm x 1.4cm