How a desktop SEM saves lab operators a lot of time

By Karl Kersten - June 20, 2019

Is it true that as a lab operator, you work under constant time pressure? Do you find it challenging to deliver output quickly? And does it take hard work to maintain your high standard of quality? This blogs explains how a desktop scanning electron microscope (SEM) can be used to increase your research productivity and therefore to save a lot of time.

desktop SEMThese challenges might be the result of the technology you use. Chances are that you work with an optical microscope, or better yet — with an SEM. And that makes sense: because of its electron imaging, SEM produces a higher image resolution and magnification, greater image depth, and a visualization of the three-dimensional external shape of an object.

But a traditional SEM is also expensive, takes up a lot of space, and requires intensive training to master. And that is where a desktop SEM comes in (to replace the traditional floor model SEM). Are you familiar with a desktop SEM? Do you know what separates a desktop SEM from a traditional floor model SEM? In this blog, we will explain the differences to you.

Desktop SEM vs. traditional floor model SEM

A desktop SEM — also referred to as a personal or benchtop SEM — is a smaller, more handy version of the traditional floor model SEM. Because of its simplified user interface, a desktop SEM is easier to use than a floor model SEM — and that is why it will benefit you greatly.

In fact, a desktop SEM is so manageable that even researchers with none or very basic lab skills can operate it. Which means they can now process their samples themselves. Simply said, a desktop SEM helps you delegate your work to researchers. The result: instead of focusing on all the SEM output you are supposed to deliver, you now have more time for your other lab responsibilities. Which means less pressure — and that is a big benefit. 

Other advantages of a desktop SEM

Now that we have addressed the greatest benefit for you, let's take look at the other advantages of a desktop SEM:

  • A desktop SEM is significantly more affordable than a traditional floor model SEM.
  • Because of its smaller size, a desktop SEM is portable and can be placed on your workstation.
  • A desktop SEM requires less setup time and maintenance than a traditional floor model SEM.
  • A desktop SEM is much faster; it reduces loading times to as much as 80%, compared to a traditional floor model SEM. It does so by using an innovative loading technology that combines a sliding plate lock and a small evacuated volume.

So, a desktop SEM is a more affordable, smaller, handier SEM that provides a push-of-a-button experience — and quick and qualitative results. And since it is so manageable that researchers themselves can operate it, it is a major time-saver for you.

To discover more about SEM and see if it fits your research requirements, you can take a look at our desktop SEM comparison sheet. It will give you a quick overview of the capabilities and specifications of several Phenom scanning electron microscopes.

Take a closer look at our SEMs and you will realize that they have a multitude of interesting specifications worth investigating, like their advanced light and electron optical magnification, resolution, and digital zoom.

Gain more insights into how Phenom SEMS are engineered and how they can vastly improve and speed up your analysis process — download the SEM comparison sheet here:

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About the author

Karl Kersten is head of the Thermo Scientific Phenom Desktop SEM Application Team at Thermo Fisher Scientific. He is passionate about the Phenom Desktop SEM product and likes converting customer requirements into product or feature specifications so customers can achieve their goals.

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