Startup Procedure for Cameca SX-50 Microprobe

Last Updated 2/7/2002

John Donovan

Opening the SXLocal Window

If the SXLocal (CrossTalk) terminal emulation program is not running, start it by double clicking the CrossTalk icon in the Probe for Windows group from Program Manager.

A command to enable task reading and writing to and from the SX processor will be automatically sent to the SX when the terminal emulation window opens. If a command syntax error is seen, click the Init Task button before attempting to load tasks.

If the status line (at the bottom of the window) says that the COM port is busy and could not be opened, the SXLocal application is already running in background. Use the Task manager to bring the application to the foreground.


Verifying the Stage

From the SXLocal window, type :

SX>mov stag ref

If necessary, bring the reflected light optics up. If an optical image of the sample is not visible in the right hand monitor (M1), click the "Light 6" button in the SXLocal window to turn on the sample reflected light.

If the TV camera image is still not visible, check the following items :

- click the Display button on the SXLocal window

- click the "Refl" button in the SXLocal window

- click the "Light 6" button (again)

- make sure the crossed polarizer is pulled out (over spec #1)

Adjust the stage using the thumbwheels until the cross hair is centered on the sample block reference mark. Please be absolutely sure that the cross hair on the sample block is visible in the display. If you are not sure, check with me. Then type :

SX>veri stag

This will reset the stage axes to 0,0,0 for a rough translation calibration. Use the import standard or unknown positions using the fiducial translation option in Probe for Windows for a precise calibration.

Bringing the Beam Up

From the SXLocal terminal emulation window, wait for the vacuum. When the vacuum is ready you will see a message "Vacuum Ready".

First click the "Start" button at the bottom of the screen and wait 5 or 10 seconds. Once the sample is visible, adjust the stage X, Y and Z using the thumbwheels to a position NOT on epoxy, then type the following command at the terminal prompt :

SX>setu hv15 ! or setu hv20 for a 20 keV setup

Wait until the Setup Ready message appears in the SXLocal window. Then confirm that the desired operating voltage and beam current is displayed on the left hand monitor (M2).


Starting Probe for Windows

Start Probe for Windows by double clicking it's icon in the Probe for Windows group in Program Manager. When the program asks whether to interface to the microprobe hardware, click Yes. The interface will be initiated in a few seconds and the main (log) window will be visible.

To begin, first open an existing run from the File | Open or Find File menus, or open a new run from the File | New menu. Select an existing file or enter a new file name and click OK. The program will prompt for a run title, your name and a sample description. Click OK when done.

Next open the Acquire window by clicking the Acquire! button just below the main window menu bar. The program will ask whether to acquire the nominal beam current (if a new run was started). Click Yes to acquire the nominal beam.


Moving to a Sample

Click the Move button to open the Move Motor/Crystal dialog. Make sure that you are on a fluorescent sample such as MgO or benitoite. You can simply type the X and Y positions from the standard position chart into the Move dialog X and Y fields and click Go, or you can click the Positions button in the Move dialog and select a existing position sample and click Go.


SXLocal Commands :

The following random SXLocal commands are useful :

SX>hv 20 ! sets KeV to 20 kilovolts

SX>cur 20 ! sets the beam current to 20 nA

SX>mag 400 ! sets the beam scan to 400X (63 - 50000 range)

SX>mag 50000 ! sets beam to minimum scan size for analysis

SX>light sample 0 ! turns light off for best BSE image (0 - 9, default is 6)

SX>det on ! turns SE detector on (det off for SE detector off)

SX>focu ! adjust beam focus or mag using thumbwheels

(focu fast for low mag or focu slow for high mag)

SX>mov stag ! restores the trackball after using thumbwheels

SX>size 20 ! set beam diameter to 20 microns (FIX mode)

(beam scan is disabled, use size off to use SE/BSE)

SX>vs2 auto ! set video board two in automatic mode

SX>vs2 manu ! set video board two in manual mode (BSE adjustment)

SX>mode tv ! set beam scan speed to tv video rate

SX>mode anal ! set beam scan speed to slow scan


Advanced SXLocal Commands :

SX>heat ! adjust filament saturation

SX>gun ! adjust electron lens

SX>gun auto ! perform electronic filament alignment


Shutdown procedure

Click the Quit button in the SXLocal window. Turn off room lights, lock and close the door and don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out.