Blog

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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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.

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.

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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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