Scanning Electron Microscopy

Scanning Electron Microscopy

In a scanning electron microscope (SEM) various signals resulting from the interactions between a focused beam of electrons, scanning in a raster scan pattern, and the constituent atoms in the sample can be acquired to provide information about the surface topogrpahy and composition of the sample. OMCS offers service from a range of SEMs depending on the exact needs.

Hitachi TM3000

-  A user friendly tabletop SEM equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) detector

-  Open to booking for ‘Self Drive’ after a quick training session

-  Backscattered electron imaging

-  Oxford Instruments X-MAX 30mm2 detector with AZtec One Analysis Suite


-  A more advanced SEM that can be used for “Self Drive” after a more extensive training session or can be utilised with an “Experienced Operator”

-  Can be operated in low vacuum for insulating samples without a conductive coating

-  Large sample chamber

-  Oxford Instruments X-MAX 80mm2 detector with INCA Analysis Suite

-  Inclined wavelength dispersive X-ray detector


For fully-quantitative microanalysis (EPMA) and elemental mapping. Four wave-length dispersive spectrometers detect and measure the X-rays generated by the electron beam hitting the sample. Exact detection limits depend on the element of interest and the overall combination of elements present. Such machines are capable of analysing samples between 5 µm and 50 mm in size, but can detect particles down to a size of 100 nm.

Other Instruments

-  Specific analysis requirements such as high-resolution imaging (order of 1nm, sample depending) and low atomic number elemental analysis can be met

-  Available instruments include JEOL JSM 6500F, Zeiss Merlin - Analytical, Zeiss Merlin - EBSD, Zeiss EVO