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ASPEX’s OmegaMax™ Allows Customers to “See More, Faster”

Integrated, systems approach to SEM/EDX technology lead to new levels of performance, reliability and verification across a wide range of industries

ATLANTA, March 14, 2011— ASPEX Corporation launched OmegaMax™ at the PITTCON 2011 Conference and Expo today. OmegaMax is designed to work in concert with ASPEX’s EXpress™ and EXtreme™ platforms, which detect, identify, quantify and characterize the features of entire samples automatically and unattended for the purpose of quality control in a variety of industries. Adding OmegaMax to these incredibly powerful microanalysis systems enables them to analyze samples twice as fast with substantially better energy resolution, all at an affordable price.

“OmegaMax enhances our ability to provide highly optimized SEM/EDS systems that solve important real-world materials characterization problems,” said Frederick Schamber, Ph.D., Chief Technical Officer, ASPEX Corporation. “This breakthrough allows us to at least double the throughput of our automated particle-analysis instruments, which already set the standard for the industry.”

The science behind OmegaMax is in its name. Omega (Ω) is the conventional symbol to represent a solid angle, and maximizing this is the most important measure of an optimized x-ray detection system today. However, maximizing the solid angle can be achieved by using a larger Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) detector, moving SDD detector closer or simply using more SDD detectors. With OmegaMax, ASPEX has found a way to employ a combination of all three.

“The key to the OmegaMax breakthrough was to take an integrated system approach to the incorporation of an x-ray sensor in the SEM architecture,” said Schamber. “By abandoning prior conventions about how an EDS detector is configured, we have been able to innovate some new approaches that lead to much more efficient use of the sensor. Consequently, we can now offer a much higher level of performance,” he added.

By integrating sensor modules directly into the EXpress and EXtreme product platforms, the system is able to provide more than four times the solid angle using the same sensor size. In addition to maximizing the solid angle, additional benefits include:

  • A high takeoff angle for less x-ray absorption and screening;
  • An array of detector sizes including five, 10, 20, and 30 mm2 active areas;
  • In each size, both beryllium window detectors (optimal for many analytical situations where light elements aren’t of interest) as well as ultra-thin window units (with electron trap) for detection down to boron are available;
  • The ability to integrate up to four sensors, arrayed symmetrically around the annular backscatter electron detector; and
  • The ability to intermix detectors of different sizes and types in an array.

“The OmegaMax breakthrough has permitted us to substantially increase the level of performance for automated particle analysis at the same price, while opening the door for even higher levels of performance. This makes this already powerful technology of automated electron beam analysis even more available for solving real-world problems in inspection, process purity and other fields,” said Schamber.


If you would like to interview Dr. Schamber or any of the subject matter experts or executive leadership of ASPEX Corporation, please contact:


Paul O’Rourke

O (412) 321-0879

C (412) 327-1849 at PITTCON

E porourke@pipitonegroup.com



Also visit ASPEX at PITTCON Booth 2623 for a demonstration of OmegaMax.

ASPEX Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a leading provider of integrated microanalysis, providing customers the unprecedented ability to rapidly and automatically detect, identify, quantify and characterize the features of an entire sample, giving them optimal quality control, production capacity and profitability. In short, ASPEX gives their customers the Power to Perceive, turning data into information that customers can use to maximize quality control efforts and bottom-line profitability. For more information on ASPEX visit www.aspexcorp.com.
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