My Desktop — What you see is what you Don’t see

I am going to give you some details about my work, my profile and my schedule. Time and again people get curious as to what is my role and what i do as a Service Engineer. So, here I am showing you the powerful technology which is used for solving real world’s problems. I started to work in 2009 March and i was appointed as Field Service Engineer for the Electron microscopes and other accessories related to the Electron microscopy industry.

I had a very faint idea of what electron microscopes do but never had an opportunity to witness one in front of me and work on it. The very first day of my work I was at JNCASR, Hebbal in Bangalore and in front of me was standing a mammoth structure which i cherish even now. This was a electron microscope and towering around 20 feet above me and occupying a room dimension of more than i should say approximately around  60 square feet. The name of this juggernaut was Titan Cube and it was being installed at that moment, it took somewhere around eight months to complete the installation and i had my chance there in the middle. So if you want to know in detail about this electron microscope hit and search for Titan Cube, if you are interested in what the scientific community is doing aggressively in the field of nanotechnology then this information will not disappoint you because it has a resolution power of 1 Armstrong.

Now i will give you a brief insight on what i used to do here, The instrument of electron microscope arrives in different shipments packed in wooden crates and held firmly inside by transport locks. The microscope should not be tilted more than five degrees during transportation as there lie very sensitive optics inside the electron microscope. This shipment has to be cleared at the port or airport and after custom clearance taken by the freight carriers to the place of it’s installation. Then I visit the site and inspect the shipment, after initial checks I clear the shipment if there are no external damages during transport.

The site and the instrument is given a green to go ahead with the installation and I have to un-crate the modules, it’s a tough labor to do this but enjoyable privy to the special and sophisticated tools you would get to enjoy working on. The microscope module is packed in one single crate, the accessories in another, the computers, the servers, the X-ray analyzers and there is jambooree of beautiful objects inside which need to be assembled and fixed inside the shipment. After disassembling we move the microscope and other modules inside the room where it has to be stationed.

Now comes the arduous task of building the microscope and its accessories, everything has to be done with precision and any amount of carelessness can be a huge cost along with loss of time. We assemble the servers and integrate it with the microscope, check the protocols and install the software’s, it would take us a process called “bake out” to energize the high amount of vacuum inside the chambers. To switch on the microscope and analyze the images inside it, the electron beam requires very high vacuum which is charged by a primary rotary vacuum pump and then a second stage highly charged turbo molecular vacuum pump. To give you an exact explanation of this process so as to what is happening  is a very lethargic process .

After switching on the microscope, a series of tests and alignments have to take place. It will take a good number of fifteen or more days for us to set everything in position and test the microscope for it to deliver the results. We train the customer hands on and then lots of other formalities too. And what does this instrument do “well it can determine the size of a particle whose dimension is 80,0000 times smaller than your hair”. You can view the lattice structure, atoms, polymers, chemicals, life science samples, sulfur byproducts and what ever you want to image.

The microscopes you see here resolve particle sizes of around 3 nano meters and to a magnification of more than 100000 times what you can see the actual image by your naked eyes.


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