Blog

What is additive manufacturing technology? How does the process work?

By Antonis Nanakoudis - June 13, 2019

Additive manufacturing is a relatively new manufacturing approach that has attracted the attention of many people and industries around the world due to its unlimited and promising potential. In this blog we will describe what Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology is and how it works and in a follow-up blog we will explain how SEM analysis can assist in improving the quality of the AM processes.

Additive manufacturing is a relatively new manufacturing approach that has attracted the attention of many people and industries around the world due to its unlimited and promising potential. In this blog we will describe what Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology is and how it works and in a follow-up blog we will explain how SEM analysis can assist in improving the quality of the AM processes.

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SEM EDS analysis: contamination detection and chemical composition analysis equipment

By Luigi Raspolini - June 6, 2019

Imperfections and small malfunctions in machines can sometimes cause contamination of the final products that roll off the production line. Metal particles can detach from the moving part of machines because of usage and friction and deposit on the product, sometimes compromising its quality irreversibly. This blog describes a EDS analysis technique for SEM which not only allows you to inspect for the presence of contamination, but also to identify its origination.

Imperfections and small malfunctions in machines can sometimes cause contamination of the final products that roll off the production line. Metal particles can detach from the moving part of machines because of usage and friction and deposit on the product, sometimes compromising its quality irreversibly. This blog describes a EDS analysis technique for SEM which not only allows you to inspect for the presence of contamination, but also to identify its origination.

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How to accelerate gunshot residue (GSR) analysis in forensic science using SEM

By Rose Helweg - May 28, 2019

Jeroen Smulders, physicist and product manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific, is part of the team that developed the Phenom Perception Gunshot Residue (GSR) Desktop Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). This instrument is the only desktop SEM dedicated to gunshot residue analysis. Forensic scientists use the technique in order to find evidence that a suspect has discharged a firearm. In this interview, Smulders talks about the development history of GSR, explains details and handling of the Phenom Perception GSR Desktop SEM and gives examples for cases in which GSR is applied.

Jeroen Smulders, physicist and product manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific, is part of the team that developed the Phenom Perception Gunshot Residue (GSR) Desktop Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). This instrument is the only desktop SEM dedicated to gunshot residue analysis. Forensic scientists use the technique in order to find evidence that a suspect has discharged a firearm. In this interview, Smulders talks about the development history of GSR, explains details and handling of the Phenom Perception GSR Desktop SEM and gives examples for cases in which GSR is applied.

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Topics: forensics, GSR

Sample preparation techniques for SEM to neutralize the effect of vacuum

By Luigi Raspolini - May 23, 2019

Scanning electron microscopes (SEM) scan the surface of the sample with an electron beam, collecting reflected electrons which carry information about the material the electrons interact with. If gas is in the sample chamber, its atoms interact with the beam, partly deflecting electrons and adding noise to the image. 

This is the reason why vacuum must be achieved in SEM before imaging. But while vacuum is crucial for proper analysis, it can also have a negative effect on certain types of materials. Read this blog to learn how you can neutralize vacuum and keep your samples intact.

Scanning electron microscopes (SEM) scan the surface of the sample with an electron beam, collecting reflected electrons which carry information about the material the electrons interact with. If gas is in the sample chamber, its atoms interact with the beam, partly deflecting electrons and adding noise to the image. 

This is the reason why vacuum must be achieved in SEM before imaging. But while vacuum is crucial for proper analysis, it can also have a negative effect on certain types of materials. Read this blog to learn how you can neutralize vacuum and keep your samples intact.

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How electron microscopy fuels the development of eco-friendly polymers

By Luigi Raspolini - May 16, 2019

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 polymers 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 polymers are improved and made eco-friendly, by making use of a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

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

By Antonis Nanakoudis - May 9, 2019

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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Why hi-tech textile engineering requires SEM for fiber analysis

By Luigi Raspolini - April 25, 2019

It’s been a long time since the textile industry relied exclusively on natural fibers. Over the decades, synthetic fibers have proven to be cheaper, easier to produce and often perform better. At the same time, chemical treatments have been developed that improve the smoothness and the resistance of both natural and synthetic fibers, which has resulted in higher quality products. Read this blog for more information on how electron microscopy can play a fundamental role in the textile engineering and fiber analysis process.

It’s been a long time since the textile industry relied exclusively on natural fibers. Over the decades, synthetic fibers have proven to be cheaper, easier to produce and often perform better. At the same time, chemical treatments have been developed that improve the smoothness and the resistance of both natural and synthetic fibers, which has resulted in higher quality products. Read this blog for more information on how electron microscopy can play a fundamental role in the textile engineering and fiber analysis process.

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Sample tilting in scanning electron microscopy: how to keep the area of interest within the field of view

By Luigi Raspolini - April 18, 2019

Certain samples are tricky to image. Sometimes, even the best sample preparation will be no help in finding the results you need. Surface roughness and features on top of the sample might hide the specific area of interest, which could contain crucial information about surface defects or characteristics of the imaged material. In cases like this, you need a new point of view. Read this blog to discover how you can get just that.

Certain samples are tricky to image. Sometimes, even the best sample preparation will be no help in finding the results you need. Surface roughness and features on top of the sample might hide the specific area of interest, which could contain crucial information about surface defects or characteristics of the imaged material. In cases like this, you need a new point of view. Read this blog to discover how you can get just that.

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Expert sample preparation techniques for SEM

By Luigi Raspolini - April 11, 2019

When using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) for the first time, you might have doubts about what can be imaged. You might also struggle to get the image quality you were expecting. Luckily, you can easily improve your results by following the simple yet powerful sample preparation techniques for SEM in this blog. Read on! 

When using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) for the first time, you might have doubts about what can be imaged. You might also struggle to get the image quality you were expecting. Luckily, you can easily improve your results by following the simple yet powerful sample preparation techniques for SEM in this blog. Read on! 

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Desktop SEM electron sources: why CeB6 is the right choice

By Karl Kersten - April 4, 2019

If you’re looking for a scanning electron microscope (SEM), you probably know by now that the electron source is one of the most important parts of the system. In a previous blog, we talked about the properties of three different electron sources: the Tungsten, CeB6 and FEG sourcesIn this blog, we’ll take a closer look at Tungsten and CeB6 electron sources.

If you’re looking for a scanning electron microscope (SEM), you probably know by now that the electron source is one of the most important parts of the system. In a previous blog, we talked about the properties of three different electron sources: the Tungsten, CeB6 and FEG sourcesIn this blog, we’ll take a closer look at Tungsten and CeB6 electron sources.

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