Skip to content

University of Alabama has first LEAP 6000 XR atom probe in North America.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022


MADISON, WI (December 12, 2022) – CAMECA, a business unit of AMETEK, Inc. and a leading global provider of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices as part of the AMETEK Materials Analysis Division, announces that the University of Alabama has acquired the first LEAP 6000 XR atom probe in North America.

The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama recently approved upgrading equipment in the Alabama Analytical Research Center with a state-of-the-art atom probe, advanced imaging electron microscopes and focused ion beam based sample preparation machines that build on UA’s established reputation at the forefront of materials characterization and analytical metrology.

Alabama’s new LEAP 6000 XR inherits key features from previous generations of atom probes, adding deep UV laser pulsing to the proven local electrode design to deliver higher yield and data quality. Through compatibility with the microtip array and a redesigned optical system, the LEAP 6000 XR provides enhanced ease of use and the potential for fully automated operation.

This is the third time UA has updated a LEAP. In 2007 UA bought a LEAP 3000 to become the first academic institution in the Southeast — and only the third in the nation — to have the instrument on campus. In 2016, UA upgraded the atom probe and became the first academic institution in the Western Hemisphere to acquire a LEAP 5000.

“We are truly excited about University of Alabama’s acquisition of our new LEAP 6000 XR, said Jesse D. Olson, CAMECA Business Unit Manager. “Prof. Thompson’s team has considerable experience with APT, and we’re eager to see what they do with this new instrument. We’re certain that their research will result in many scientific breakthroughs in the near future.”

Dr. Gregory Thompson and University of Alabama's LEAP 6000 XR
“This capability in AARC will be on par with a national lab core facility and will be a catalyst for innovative discoveries led by our faculty and students. This is a game changer for what will be accomplished by our users in the coming years” said Dr. Gregory Thompson, Distinguished University Research Professor for the UA System and director of the AARC. “Our students and faculty will have at their fingertips the most advanced electron, ion and X-ray measurement instruments in the world, placing our graduates with workforce skills to meet tomorrow’s challenges in critical national priorities.”

Students and faculty from several engineering disciplines along with physics, chemistry and geology contribute to discovery in the AARC. In addition to users from campus and other universities, AARC has attracted researchers in several industries, including automotive, computing and aerospace, along with federal laboratories including NASA, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and those in the Department of Defense.

More than 150 students use the facility each year, and many trained on the instrumentation have gone on to work in advanced manufacturing industries with such companies as Intel, Apple, GE Global Research and Boeing as well as continuing their research at other institutions and national laboratories.

Developed at CAMECA’s Atom Probe Technology center in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, the LEAP 6000 XR maintains CAMECA’s position as the world leader in atom probe tomography.