Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
Fracture Surface of Powder Metal

Image of Gold Plating

SEM is a method of generating images of samples at magnifications up to 100,000X.

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Purpose: Generates images of samples at magnifications up to 100,000X.

Sample: Any solid sample one cubic inch or smaller.

Price & Delivery: Contact us for a quote.

Basic Description: This instrument forms images with electrons instead of light allowing high magnification photographs with excellent depth of field. At 100,000X magnification a penny is roughly a mile in diameter. The EDS detector on this instrument allows identification of the elements present in contamination particles as small as one micrometer (40 micro-inches) in size. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is useful for failure analysis since it can reveal where a fracture started, how fast it propagated, and whether the fracture mode was ductile or brittle. Cross sectional measurements of plating thickness (ASTM B748) can also be made with this instrument. The results are in the form of black and white images with our interpretation of their meaning.

Limitations: The images generated are black and white so differences in color are hard to detect but differences in atomic weight are easily seen. Organic samples do not generate a lot of signal so the images are not as clear as metals at high magnifications. In order to get good images above 5,000X magnification the sample must be conductive or must be prepared by sputter coating with a very thin layer of metal.


  • JEOL, 6360LV, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
     Secondary Electron Imaging (SEI) detector.
     Backscatter Electron Imaging (BEI) detector.
     High and low vacuum imaging modes.
  • Thermo Electron, System Six
  • Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS) Detector


  • SEM
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
  • Electron Microscopy
  • Fractography

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