Step 4: electro-etch the long end in a 3 molar NaOH solution. Takes about 5 minutes at 19VDC. After the end drops off, you've got an atomically thin tungsten tip!

Step 5: reinstall the base, carefully align the tip using the seven(!) alignment screw adjustments, put the module back in the scope and bake for at least 24 hours. Season to taste. Serve well chilled.

15 hours into the bake, and all SIP pumps now engage! 7 out of 8 happy lights are lit with the pressure still dropping. This is a very good sign!

Boom. All systems happy (if a little high pressure, due to the ongoing bake). Only 6.5 more hours to go!

...and then to let it cool overnight, reassemble, boot it up, and THEN see if we get a beam.

SEM ownership is not for the impatient.

26 hours after starting the bake: INT at 3e-6, GUN at 8e-8. All systems go. POWERING UP!


And now, the next challenge. At some point during reassembly, GUN shot up to 1e-4 again. Turns out one of the SIP cables was a little loose. Tightened it up and pressure is dropping again. Now we wait. 😑

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