Luigi Raspolini

Luigi Raspolini is an application engineer for the Thermo Scientific Phenom Desktop SEM product range at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Luigi is constantly looking for new approaches to materials characterization, surface roughness measurements, and composition analysis. He is passionate about improving user experiences and demonstrating the best way to image every kind of sample.

SEM Technology: the Role of the Electron Beam Voltage in Electron Microscopy Analysis

By Luigi Raspolini - August 29, 2019

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 electron microscopy 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 electron microscopy analysis.

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Battery research with a Scanning Electron Microscope: inspecting one layer at a time

By Luigi Raspolini - August 8, 2019

Batteries revolutionized the world of electronics by enabling us to carry an energy reserve in our pockets. Miniaturization and efficiency are the two key words when it comes to new developments in this field, impacting with the battery materials’ properties and stretching their limits. Let’s take a look at how researchers characterize materials and gather relevant information about batteries using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

Batteries revolutionized the world of electronics by enabling us to carry an energy reserve in our pockets. Miniaturization and efficiency are the two key words when it comes to new developments in this field, impacting with the battery materials’ properties and stretching their limits. Let’s take a look at how researchers characterize materials and gather relevant information about batteries using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

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Effective asbestos analysis with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

By Luigi Raspolini - August 1, 2019

Resistance to fire, sound absorption, tensile strength and low price caused a boost in asbestos mining activities at the beginning of 19th century.

Already used in the production of asphalt, brake pads, electrical insulators, fireproof suits, technical fabrics and other everyday products, asbestos started its golden century when the Austrian engineer Ludwig Hatschek invented the first asbestos-cement, often mistakenly referred to as Eternit.

The material properties, particularly its lightness and resilience, started a real revolution in the construction engineering and asbestos-cements factories, which immediately emerged all over the world.

Resistance to fire, sound absorption, tensile strength and low price caused a boost in asbestos mining activities at the beginning of 19th century.

Already used in the production of asphalt, brake pads, electrical insulators, fireproof suits, technical fabrics and other everyday products, asbestos started its golden century when the Austrian engineer Ludwig Hatschek invented the first asbestos-cement, often mistakenly referred to as Eternit.

The material properties, particularly its lightness and resilience, started a real revolution in the construction engineering and asbestos-cements factories, which immediately emerged all over the world.

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What is depth of field and how can I optimize it in a scanning electron microscope?

By Luigi Raspolini - July 25, 2019

Imaging with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) consists of taking pictures of small features. So why not consider a comparison with photography? Let’s analyze how similar the behaviors of a SEM and a camera are when it comes to focusing on your subject, and what the exact definition of depth of field is.

Imaging with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) consists of taking pictures of small features. So why not consider a comparison with photography? Let’s analyze how similar the behaviors of a SEM and a camera are when it comes to focusing on your subject, and what the exact definition of depth of field is.

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How SEM helps research polymers characteristics, properties, and uses

By Luigi Raspolini - July 11, 2019

Polymers have many uses and applications: engineered combinations of monomers produce a nearly infinite number of molecules with different properties, which are determined by the chemical composition and structure of the molecule. The form of the molecule has a big influence on how the polymer will behave when exposed to different external forces. In this blog, you’ll find practical examples of how Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEMs) can provide unexpected results.

Polymers have many uses and applications: engineered combinations of monomers produce a nearly infinite number of molecules with different properties, which are determined by the chemical composition and structure of the molecule. The form of the molecule has a big influence on how the polymer will behave when exposed to different external forces. In this blog, you’ll find practical examples of how Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEMs) can provide unexpected results.

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SEM as a fiber analysis method for filtration systems quality control

By Luigi Raspolini - July 4, 2019

The production of filters and membranes undergoes several quality control steps to ensure that the properties of the product are up to specification. Different methods can be used for such fiber analysis, but only one can provide the best results. Find out in this blog how Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) can be used to investigate imperfections in metallic filters.

The production of filters and membranes undergoes several quality control steps to ensure that the properties of the product are up to specification. Different methods can be used for such fiber analysis, but only one can provide the best results. Find out in this blog how Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) can be used to investigate imperfections in metallic filters.

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How to prevent oxidative damage to a scanning electron microscope sample

By Luigi Raspolini - June 27, 2019

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 oxidative damage 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 oxidative damage 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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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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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.

Read more

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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