Blog

How scanning electron microscopy impacts dental studies

By Dr. Jasmin Zahn - Dec 14, 2017

Microscopy is known to be a versatile tool in dental studies. Not only is optical microscopy used in day-to-day practices in dental clinics, but due to the surface information electron microscopy offers, it is used within a large variety of research subjects. With the following examples we want to offer more insights into how in detail scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is utilized within various dental studies.

Microscopy is known to be a versatile tool in dental studies. Not only is optical microscopy used in day-to-day practices in dental clinics, but due to the surface information electron microscopy offers, it is used within a large variety of research subjects. With the following examples we want to offer more insights into how in detail scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is utilized within various dental studies.

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How to prevent oxidative damage to a scanning electron microscope sample

By Luigi Raspolini - Dec 7, 2017

O2 is an extremely reactive gas, and some materials don’t get along well with it. Oxidation processes are activated as soon as certain samples are exposed to the atmosphere and this affects the structure and characteristics of the samples — in most cases permanently. This blog explains how such effects can be prevented and how SEM analysis can be performed on oxygen-sensitive samples without compromising the structure of the sample itself.

O2 is an extremely reactive gas, and some materials don’t get along well with it. Oxidation processes are activated as soon as certain samples are exposed to the atmosphere and this affects the structure and characteristics of the samples — in most cases permanently. This blog explains how such effects can be prevented and how SEM analysis can be performed on oxygen-sensitive samples without compromising the structure of the sample itself.

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The strong connection between microscopy and micro-organisms

By Dr. Jasmin Zahn - Nov 30, 2017

The human body is host to billions of micro-organisms of many kinds and has as many human cells as non-human ones! These micro-organisms are mainly harmless bacteria; in fact, they can sometimes be helpful. Due to their size, a distinction and characterization is always done with microscopy. Over the many, many years that micro-organisms have been observed, different types of microscopy have been used, from classical optical microscopy to scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In this blog, we showcase three examples of how micro-organisms were studied with the help of microscopy.

The human body is host to billions of micro-organisms of many kinds and has as many human cells as non-human ones! These micro-organisms are mainly harmless bacteria; in fact, they can sometimes be helpful. Due to their size, a distinction and characterization is always done with microscopy. Over the many, many years that micro-organisms have been observed, different types of microscopy have been used, from classical optical microscopy to scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In this blog, we showcase three examples of how micro-organisms were studied with the help of microscopy.

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The role of the electron beam voltage in scanning electron microscopy

By Luigi Raspolini - Nov 23, 2017

When conducting electron microscopy (EM) analysis, there are a few important parameters that must be taken into account to produce the best possible results, and to image the feature of interest. One of the crucial roles is played by the voltage (or tension) applied to the source electrodes to generate the electron beam. Historically, the trend has always been to increase the voltage to improve the resolution of the system.

It is only in recent years that scanning electron microscope (SEM) producers have started to focus on improving the resolution at lower voltages. A major role in this has been the expanding field of application of EM to the life sciences - especially after the introduction of the Nobel prize-winning cryo-SEM technique. This blog will focus on the effects of the voltage on the results of the analysis.

When conducting electron microscopy (EM) analysis, there are a few important parameters that must be taken into account to produce the best possible results, and to image the feature of interest. One of the crucial roles is played by the voltage (or tension) applied to the source electrodes to generate the electron beam. Historically, the trend has always been to increase the voltage to improve the resolution of the system.

It is only in recent years that scanning electron microscope (SEM) producers have started to focus on improving the resolution at lower voltages. A major role in this has been the expanding field of application of EM to the life sciences - especially after the introduction of the Nobel prize-winning cryo-SEM technique. This blog will focus on the effects of the voltage on the results of the analysis.

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How does blood research benefit from scanning electron microscopy?

By Dr. Jasmin Zahn - Nov 16, 2017

Blood is a vital element of the body. It is essential to all organs and tissues as it provides the oxygen that is required and removes unwanted metabolites from cells. But blood isn’t just involved in oxygen transportation, it also contains immune cells and platelets that help defend the body from various diseases and are involved in bleeding disorders. This blog will give you more insights into how scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) can become an important tool for laboratories that focus on blood research and related fields.

Blood is a vital element of the body. It is essential to all organs and tissues as it provides the oxygen that is required and removes unwanted metabolites from cells. But blood isn’t just involved in oxygen transportation, it also contains immune cells and platelets that help defend the body from various diseases and are involved in bleeding disorders. This blog will give you more insights into how scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) can become an important tool for laboratories that focus on blood research and related fields.

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Spot size in scanning electron microscopy (SEM): why it matters!

By Antonis Nanakoudis - Nov 9, 2017

Scanning electron microscopes have emerged as a very valuable characterization method in recent years, following the major technological developments and the continuous shrinking of material dimensions. SEMs are versatile tools that allow users to perform many different types of analyses on a wide range of materials and to achieve the best results, users should carefully select the main microscope settings. One of those settings is the spot size, i.e. the diameter of the probe at the sample. In this blog, I explain how to adjust the spot size in a SEM — and how to achieve the right balance between high-resolution imaging and a high beam current to get the results you’re looking for.

Scanning electron microscopes have emerged as a very valuable characterization method in recent years, following the major technological developments and the continuous shrinking of material dimensions. SEMs are versatile tools that allow users to perform many different types of analyses on a wide range of materials and to achieve the best results, users should carefully select the main microscope settings. One of those settings is the spot size, i.e. the diameter of the probe at the sample. In this blog, I explain how to adjust the spot size in a SEM — and how to achieve the right balance between high-resolution imaging and a high beam current to get the results you’re looking for.

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Topics: spot size

How are plant sciences and electron microscopy linked?

By Dr. Jasmin Zahn - Nov 3, 2017

In plant sciences, researchers face many different and challenging microscopy tasks: from morphological analysis to functional approaches, from taxonomy and ethology to physiology studies. All kinds of different microscopy techniques are used inside plant science. This blog offers you insights in how scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) are used and what benefits and challenges come with their use in anatomical studies and physiology, as well as in regard to plants components such as fibers.

In plant sciences, researchers face many different and challenging microscopy tasks: from morphological analysis to functional approaches, from taxonomy and ethology to physiology studies. All kinds of different microscopy techniques are used inside plant science. This blog offers you insights in how scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) are used and what benefits and challenges come with their use in anatomical studies and physiology, as well as in regard to plants components such as fibers.

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How SEM analysis helps understanding new nanofiber applications

By Dr. Jasmin Zahn - Oct 26, 2017

How to transfer drugs into human bodies efficient and while doing that minimizing side effects, has been studied intensively, and many different techniques have been developed over the past few years. Electrospun nanofibers are one of such new systems that have attracted a lot of attention recently. This is thanks to the exceptional properties of these fibers: they have highly porous three-dimensional surfaces, a high surface-to-volume ratio, and interconnected porosity with tunable pore dimensions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) proved to be helpful as an analytical tool to understand how fiber properties can be altered and enhanced.

 

How to transfer drugs into human bodies efficient and while doing that minimizing side effects, has been studied intensively, and many different techniques have been developed over the past few years. Electrospun nanofibers are one of such new systems that have attracted a lot of attention recently. This is thanks to the exceptional properties of these fibers: they have highly porous three-dimensional surfaces, a high surface-to-volume ratio, and interconnected porosity with tunable pore dimensions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) proved to be helpful as an analytical tool to understand how fiber properties can be altered and enhanced.

 

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Topics: nanofibers

Fabrication of photonic devices through direct laser writing: how SEM contributes

By Marijke Scotuzzi - Oct 19, 2017

Photonic devices are widely used in the physical sciences for creating, manipulating and detecting light. In the future, the challenge will be to fabricate advanced photonic devices, which will require flexibility and tunability. Fabricating these devices is not easy, as they require an advanced three-dimensional lithographic technique. Direct laser writing (DLW) is an interesting approach that aims to achieve this using a liquid crystalline photoresist as light-sensitive material.

In this blog, we will describe how photoresists are specifically designed and tested for the fabrication of elastomeric light tunable photonic devices — and how imaging with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) helped in the design improvement process.

Photonic devices are widely used in the physical sciences for creating, manipulating and detecting light. In the future, the challenge will be to fabricate advanced photonic devices, which will require flexibility and tunability. Fabricating these devices is not easy, as they require an advanced three-dimensional lithographic technique. Direct laser writing (DLW) is an interesting approach that aims to achieve this using a liquid crystalline photoresist as light-sensitive material.

In this blog, we will describe how photoresists are specifically designed and tested for the fabrication of elastomeric light tunable photonic devices — and how imaging with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) helped in the design improvement process.

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Topics: photonics

How electron microscopy fuels the development of eco-friendly polymers

By Luigi Raspolini - Oct 12, 2017

Thermosetting polymers are widely used in modern industry due to their specific chemical and physical properties. With a wide range of applications, from components of huge aircraft to small electronics, epoxies are one of the main products of the polymers industry. This blog will focus on how these materials are improved and made eco-friendly, by making use of a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Thermosetting polymers are widely used in modern industry due to their specific chemical and physical properties. With a wide range of applications, from components of huge aircraft to small electronics, epoxies are one of the main products of the polymers industry. This blog will focus on how these materials are improved and made eco-friendly, by making use of a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

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Topics: polymers

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