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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

WATLab has a new website and new tools!

The WATLab website has been reworked to comply with web accessibility standards under Ontario law.  We are slowly learning the new WCMS 3 system and we ask our users to be patient with us as there will likely be some instability in this process.  Please report anything unusual to Nina.

WATLab has started the process of adding two new tools this year:  a micro XRF system and an advanced Raman confocal system.  Both will extend what we can currently do at WATLab.  The new XPS system and the upgraded SIMS system (installed in 2023) have been working well, and we welcome new samples.  We have also installed a new source in the Libra 200 MC TEM system, which has significantly improved the image quality.  WATLab looks forward to assisting all our users in need of these and other advanced tools at WATLab.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

CWL shutdown update

We have implemented a workaround (the CWL shutdown).  All the SEMs are back up and should be stable. 

The campus-wide chilled water loop (CWL) shutdown on Dec 6 and 7 is going to affect multiple systems at WATLab.  We are taking proactive measure to shutdown the affected systems before this CWL shutdown at 6 am tomorrow.  Plant Operations said that the CWL will be back on by Friday. We apologise for the inconvenience, and we take this opportunity to wish our users Happy Christmas and Wonderful New Year.

Both the new ESCA system, Thermo NEXSA G2, and the extended dynamic range upgrade for the ION-TOF SIMS-5 system have been installed successfully.  We encourage all the users to consider taking advantage of these new generations of tools at WATLab for chemical-state surface composition analysis and depth-profiling chemical characterization as we strongly believe that these tools will enable our users to do better science.

The LEO SEM has suffered a leak in the V3 valve mechanism, which is used to isolate the important electron source region during sample loading. Before the V3 leak can be fixed, we have taken the LEO off-line and will only use it for special-need projects (such as those that require electroluminescence).  All the users certified for using the LEO will be moved to the ULTRA.  Please discuss this with Nina or Lei and they can create an user account on the ULTRA.  The LEO and ULTRA have the same SnartSEM user interface and certified LEO users will only need a quick training for using the sample transfer mechanism.  We thank you for your patience and co-operation.