Topic: scanning-electron-microscope

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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SEM: types of electrons, their detection and the information they provide

By Antonis Nanakoudis - February 21, 2019

Electron microscopes are very versatile instruments, which can provide different types of information depending on the user’s needs. In this blog we will describe the different types of electrons that are produced in a SEM, how they are detected and the type of information that they can provide.

Electron microscopes are very versatile instruments, which can provide different types of information depending on the user’s needs. In this blog we will describe the different types of electrons that are produced in a SEM, how they are detected and the type of information that they can provide.

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Phenom Pharos Desktop SEM wins Analytical Scientist Innovation Award 2018!

By Rose Helweg - January 18, 2019

The Thermo Scientific™ Phenom Pharos Desktop SEM has been voted second place in the Analytical Scientist Innovation Awards 2018! The microscope—which was introduced in August 2018—is the flagship of the Phenom Desktop SEM product range.

The Thermo Scientific™ Phenom Pharos Desktop SEM has been voted second place in the Analytical Scientist Innovation Awards 2018! The microscope—which was introduced in August 2018—is the flagship of the Phenom Desktop SEM product range.

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Everything is nano these days: to improve the world of nanotechnology we make extremely fast SEM imaging and analysis accessible to everyone

By Karl Kersten - December 20, 2018

Imaging with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is a powerful tool for any materials scientist, though historically, accessing the technique was an issue. SEM involved using large, expensive systems that were only available to large research institutions. Even then, access was often difficult, due to long waiting lists and because their complex operation required in-depth training.

Imaging with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is a powerful tool for any materials scientist, though historically, accessing the technique was an issue. SEM involved using large, expensive systems that were only available to large research institutions. Even then, access was often difficult, due to long waiting lists and because their complex operation required in-depth training.

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FEG source: what you need to know

By Karl Kersten - November 26, 2018

Until very recently, we have not seen a high kilovolt (kV) imaging desktop scanning electron microscope (SEM) with a Field Emission Gun (FEG) source in it. Why not? And why can it be useful to have a FEG source in a desktop SEM? This article provides some answers.

Until very recently, we have not seen a high kilovolt (kV) imaging desktop scanning electron microscope (SEM) with a Field Emission Gun (FEG) source in it. Why not? And why can it be useful to have a FEG source in a desktop SEM? This article provides some answers.

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Backscattered electron imaging explained

By Karl Kersten - October 4, 2018

 Backscattered electrons (BSEs) are generated by elastic scattering events. When the electrons in the primary beam travel close to the atom’s nuclei in the specimen, their trajectory is deviated due to the force they feel with the positive charges in the nuclei. Depending on the size of the atom nuclei, the number of backscattered electrons differs. This is the basic principle of BSE image contrast. In this blog we introduce the backscattering coefficient and explain how it is influenced by the inclination of the sample and the primary beam energy.

 Backscattered electrons (BSEs) are generated by elastic scattering events. When the electrons in the primary beam travel close to the atom’s nuclei in the specimen, their trajectory is deviated due to the force they feel with the positive charges in the nuclei. Depending on the size of the atom nuclei, the number of backscattered electrons differs. This is the basic principle of BSE image contrast. In this blog we introduce the backscattering coefficient and explain how it is influenced by the inclination of the sample and the primary beam energy.

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Backscattered electron images: how to improve their quality

By Karl Kersten - September 21, 2018

Backscatter electrons (BSEs) carry information on the material of the sample. Obtaining high-quality images with a backscattered electron detector depends on many factors, such as the conductivity of the sample, its morphology and composition, the type of BSE detector and the electronics. Given a fixed system with the same detector and electronics— and the same sample, we analyzed the factors that play a role in the quality of a BSE image. Beginning with the number of integrating frames and beam intensity, in this blog we will also discuss the roles of the working distance and the chamber pressure.

Backscatter electrons (BSEs) carry information on the material of the sample. Obtaining high-quality images with a backscattered electron detector depends on many factors, such as the conductivity of the sample, its morphology and composition, the type of BSE detector and the electronics. Given a fixed system with the same detector and electronics— and the same sample, we analyzed the factors that play a role in the quality of a BSE image. Beginning with the number of integrating frames and beam intensity, in this blog we will also discuss the roles of the working distance and the chamber pressure.

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Tungsten vs. CeB6 electron source: Choosing the right desktop SEM

By Wouter Arts - September 13, 2018

Considering a desktop scanning electron microscope (SEM)? If so, then it is important to determine what type of electron source fits your needs, since it has a direct effect on the quality of your output. In this blog, we'll therefore describe compare a Tungsten electron source with a CeB6 electron source. Read on to learn to discover which electron source is most suitable for a desktop SEM.

Considering a desktop scanning electron microscope (SEM)? If so, then it is important to determine what type of electron source fits your needs, since it has a direct effect on the quality of your output. In this blog, we'll therefore describe compare a Tungsten electron source with a CeB6 electron source. Read on to learn to discover which electron source is most suitable for a desktop SEM.

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STOP outsourcing your scanning electron microscopy research — get your own SEM!

By Karl Kersten - September 6, 2018

Are you a lab operator who wants to stop outsourcing your scanning electron microscopy jobs and buy your own Scanning Electron Microscope? Then you’ve probably already calculated that a personal SEM is a worthwhile capital investment. But the operational costs of SEM are just as important too: all the ongoing equipment expenses related to an SEM like the facilities, its maintenance, and operators.

Are you a lab operator who wants to stop outsourcing your scanning electron microscopy jobs and buy your own Scanning Electron Microscope? Then you’ve probably already calculated that a personal SEM is a worthwhile capital investment. But the operational costs of SEM are just as important too: all the ongoing equipment expenses related to an SEM like the facilities, its maintenance, and operators.

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Buying a scanning electron microscope: how to select the right SEM

By Karl Kersten - August 2, 2018

You want to buy a new scanning electron microscope (SEM) because you know you need more SEM capability. Maybe you have a traditional floor model SEM, but it is slow and complicated to operate. Maybe you are using an outside service and the turn-around time is unacceptably long.

You’ve made your case that your company could significantly improve their business performance and you could do your job better if SEM imaging and analysis were easier, faster and more accessible. Can a desktop SEM do what you need? This article provides the answers and helps you to select the right SEM.

You want to buy a new scanning electron microscope (SEM) because you know you need more SEM capability. Maybe you have a traditional floor model SEM, but it is slow and complicated to operate. Maybe you are using an outside service and the turn-around time is unacceptably long.

You’ve made your case that your company could significantly improve their business performance and you could do your job better if SEM imaging and analysis were easier, faster and more accessible. Can a desktop SEM do what you need? This article provides the answers and helps you to select the right SEM.

Read more

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