Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Particle Technology Labs offers an encompassing array of particle size and characterization services, providing key information for research, formulation and manufacturing purposes across many different industry segments.

When it comes to imaging sample materials, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is one of the most widely used analytical tools providing profound depth of field and detail in images of microscopic materials.

Particle Characterization Chemist Michael Vinakos on PTL's system, the JEOL NeoScope II JCM-6000 Benchtop SEM

Particle Characterization Chemist Michael Vinakos on PTL’s system, the JEOL NeoScope II JCM-6000 Benchtop SEM

PTL’s system, the JEOL NeoScope II JCM-6000 Benchtop SEM, produces magnifications of 10 – 60,000x for secondary electron images, and 10 – 30,000x for backscattered electron images. This allows a high definition view of pharmaceuticals, fibers, abrasives, and other microscopic materials for many industries including pharmaceutical, environmental, aerospace, chemical, and others.

Vivid images of the topography of a material’s surface provide very important information including process characterization, compositional differences, morphology and weathering processes. These are just a few of many applications available with the use of SEM imaging.

Information from SEM can stand alone as a powerful tool in the research and development of your material, or complement the data obtained through other physical characterization analyses such as particle size, porosity, BET surface area and other analysis offered at PTL. “We have found that using SEM analysis helps provide further insight for our clients as it can provide a visual representation of a particle’s characteristics and an orthogonal analytical survey technique to other commonly used particle sizing equipment. For our clients, a picture can truly be worth a thousand words when attempting to describe the size and shape of particles.” says Bill Kopesky, Director of Analytical Services.

sem1 sem2

Example of images generated using SEM analysis. A focused beam of electrons scans the surface of the sample, which in turn produces secondary and backscattered electrons. The instrument's detector(s) collect these emitted electrons and translate the signal into a high-resolution, multi-dimensional image of the sample's surface.

Example of images generated using SEM analysis. A focused beam of electrons scans the surface of the sample, which in turn produces secondary and backscattered electrons. The instrument’s detector(s) collect these emitted electrons and translate the signal into a high-resolution, multi-dimensional image of the sample’s surface.

Features of our SEM instrument, the JEOL NeoScope II JCM-6000 Benchtop SEM, include:

Magnifications of 10 – 60,000x for secondary electron images and 10 – 30,000x for backscattered electron images (sample dependent).

Dual frame imaging which allows for a comparison between two images.

A motorized tilt/rotation specimen holder allowing for focused and optimized sampleorientation thus highlighting features of interest.

Accommodation of sample sizes up to 70 mm in diameter and 50 mm in height.

Contact PTL today for more information about Scanning Electron Microscopy and how it can be a valuable tool in the research, development or manufacturing of your material.