Topic: sample-preparation

How sample preparation for SEM helps lab operators produce images faster

By Karl Kersten - November 1, 2018

As a seasoned lab operator, you work with microscopes for the majority of the day, and are very specialized in sample preparation and handling the SEM system. And it’s a responsible job: your output leads to the overall improvement of your company’s products and company results. Therefore, the quality of your work must be outstanding. But at the same time, you want to deliver output quickly. 

As a seasoned lab operator, you work with microscopes for the majority of the day, and are very specialized in sample preparation and handling the SEM system. And it’s a responsible job: your output leads to the overall improvement of your company’s products and company results. Therefore, the quality of your work must be outstanding. But at the same time, you want to deliver output quickly. 

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Why do your materials break? Tensile testing: inspecting the breaking mechanisms of materials with SEM

By Luigi Raspolini - September 27, 2018

Tensile testing is a commonly-used analysis that provides information on the resilience of an object and how much resistance it can offer to traction or compression. Such tests can be performed on a large variety of materials and provide useful information to speculate on the behavior of a material when it undergoes a stress. The main purpose of the tensile test is to evaluate relevant parameters (like the Young's modulus, for example) or to study the how shear stress affects the material. This allows researchers to create models and design better materials. But how can you see what is happening? A scanning electron microscope (SEM) with tensile testing capabilities can provide you with that information.

Tensile testing is a commonly-used analysis that provides information on the resilience of an object and how much resistance it can offer to traction or compression. Such tests can be performed on a large variety of materials and provide useful information to speculate on the behavior of a material when it undergoes a stress. The main purpose of the tensile test is to evaluate relevant parameters (like the Young's modulus, for example) or to study the how shear stress affects the material. This allows researchers to create models and design better materials. But how can you see what is happening? A scanning electron microscope (SEM) with tensile testing capabilities can provide you with that information.

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Sputter coating for SEM: how this sample preparation technique assists your imaging

By Antonis Nanakoudis - August 9, 2018

Scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) are very versatile tools that can provide information at the nanoscale of many different samples - with little or no sample preparation. In some cases though, sputter coating the samples prior to working with SEMs is recommended, or even necessary, in order to get a good SEM image. In this blog, we will explain how the sputter coating process works, and to which type of samples it should be applied.

Scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) are very versatile tools that can provide information at the nanoscale of many different samples - with little or no sample preparation. In some cases though, sputter coating the samples prior to working with SEMs is recommended, or even necessary, in order to get a good SEM image. In this blog, we will explain how the sputter coating process works, and to which type of samples it should be applied.

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Sample degradation during SEM analysis: what causes it and how to slow down the process

By Karl Kersten - July 19, 2018

When using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), the electron beam can, over time, permanently alter or degrade the sample that is being observed. Sample degradation is an unwanted effect as it can alter — or even destroy — the details you want to see, and consequently change your results and conclusions. In this blog, I will explain what can cause sample degradation, and how you can slow down the process.

When using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), the electron beam can, over time, permanently alter or degrade the sample that is being observed. Sample degradation is an unwanted effect as it can alter — or even destroy — the details you want to see, and consequently change your results and conclusions. In this blog, I will explain what can cause sample degradation, and how you can slow down the process.

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SEM working principle: the detection of backscattered electrons

By Karl Kersten - June 14, 2018

Backscattered electrons (BSEs) are high-energy electrons that are produced by the elastic scattering of the primary beam electrons with the atom nuclei. The yield of BSEs, that is the ratio of the number of emitted BSEs and the amount of primary beam electrons, depends on the atomic number: the higher the atomic number, or the heavier the element, the brighter the contrast. In the Phenom SEM, BSEs are detected using four-quadrant semiconductor detectors placed above the sample. In this blog, we will explain what a semiconductor detector is and how backscattered electrons are detected in a scanning electron microscope.

Backscattered electrons (BSEs) are high-energy electrons that are produced by the elastic scattering of the primary beam electrons with the atom nuclei. The yield of BSEs, that is the ratio of the number of emitted BSEs and the amount of primary beam electrons, depends on the atomic number: the higher the atomic number, or the heavier the element, the brighter the contrast. In the Phenom SEM, BSEs are detected using four-quadrant semiconductor detectors placed above the sample. In this blog, we will explain what a semiconductor detector is and how backscattered electrons are detected in a scanning electron microscope.

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How-to: high-quality fiber analysis through proper SEM sample preparation

By Karl Kersten - January 18, 2018

Fibers are generally imaged in a scanning electron microscope (SEM), which provides high-resolution images, elemental analysis, and the possibility of automatically measuring thousands of fibers in mere minutes. But in some cases, imaging fibers with a SEM also presents challenges as the nature of some fibers might compromise the quality of your analysis. With this in mind, this blog describes how you can obtain high-quality imaging and fiber analysis through proper SEM configuration and sample preparation.

Fibers are generally imaged in a scanning electron microscope (SEM), which provides high-resolution images, elemental analysis, and the possibility of automatically measuring thousands of fibers in mere minutes. But in some cases, imaging fibers with a SEM also presents challenges as the nature of some fibers might compromise the quality of your analysis. With this in mind, this blog describes how you can obtain high-quality imaging and fiber analysis through proper SEM configuration and sample preparation.

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