Topic: scanning-electron-microscope

What is SEM? Scanning electron microscope technology explained

By Antonis Nanakoudis - August 15, 2019

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has become a powerful and versatile tool for material characterization. This is especially so in recent years, due to the continuous shrinking of the dimension of materials used in various applications. In this blog, we provide an answer to the question "what is SEM?" and describe the main working principles of a SEM instrument.

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has become a powerful and versatile tool for material characterization. This is especially so in recent years, due to the continuous shrinking of the dimension of materials used in various applications. In this blog, we provide an answer to the question "what is SEM?" and describe the main working principles of a SEM instrument.

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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 to detect additive manufacturing defects in a 3D-printed object

By Antonis Nanakoudis - July 18, 2019

In a previous blog, we introduced Additive Manufacturing (AM) as a new manufacturing approach and described its key points (you can read the blog here). Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D printing or rapid prototyping, 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 how the use of a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) can be a powerful tool to monitor and improve the quality of the additive manufacturingprocesses.

In a previous blog, we introduced Additive Manufacturing (AM) as a new manufacturing approach and described its key points (you can read the blog here). Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D printing or rapid prototyping, 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 how the use of a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) can be a powerful tool to monitor and improve the quality of the additive manufacturingprocesses.

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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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70 Years of Electron Microscopy: The History of the Thermo Scientific Phenom Desktop Scanning Electron Microscope

By Rose Helweg - June 18, 2019

About 70 years ago, Philips built its first commercial electron microscope. This microscope made electron microscopy available to researchers worldwide. Now, 70 years later, electron microscopy plays a fundamental role in research done in various fields, ranging from materials science to life sciences. A big role in making electron microscopy accessible to everybody is played by the Phenom Desktop SEM, originally launched in 2006.

About 70 years ago, Philips built its first commercial electron microscope. This microscope made electron microscopy available to researchers worldwide. Now, 70 years later, electron microscopy plays a fundamental role in research done in various fields, ranging from materials science to life sciences. A big role in making electron microscopy accessible to everybody is played by the Phenom Desktop SEM, originally launched in 2006.

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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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SEM and TEM: what's the difference?

By Antonis Nanakoudis - May 8, 2019

Electron microscopes have emerged as a powerful tool for the characterization of a wide range of materials. Their versatility and extremely high spatial resolution render them a very valuable tool for many applications. The two main types of electron microscopes are the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) and the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). In this blog we briefly describe their similarities and differences.

Electron microscopes have emerged as a powerful tool for the characterization of a wide range of materials. Their versatility and extremely high spatial resolution render them a very valuable tool for many applications. The two main types of electron microscopes are the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) and the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). In this blog we briefly describe their similarities and differences.

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How to spot astigmatism in Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images

By Willem van Zyl - February 28, 2019

You may have heard of astigmatism as a medical condition that causes visual impairment in up to 40% of adults [1], but how is this applicable to electron microscopy? First of all, let’s talk about what the word astigmatism, in fact, means: It is derived from the negative prefix ‘a’ (without) + ‘stigmat-’ (mark, or point, in Ancient Greek) + ‘ism’ (condition). In a perfect optical system, a lens has only one focal point, and is stigmatic. When the lens has more than one focal point, however, we refer to the lens as being astigmatic. This happens when the lens is elongated in either the sagittal (y-axis) or tangential (x-axis) plane, resulting in two focal points (= foci).

You may have heard of astigmatism as a medical condition that causes visual impairment in up to 40% of adults [1], but how is this applicable to electron microscopy? First of all, let’s talk about what the word astigmatism, in fact, means: It is derived from the negative prefix ‘a’ (without) + ‘stigmat-’ (mark, or point, in Ancient Greek) + ‘ism’ (condition). In a perfect optical system, a lens has only one focal point, and is stigmatic. When the lens has more than one focal point, however, we refer to the lens as being astigmatic. This happens when the lens is elongated in either the sagittal (y-axis) or tangential (x-axis) plane, resulting in two focal points (= foci).

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