Electron MicroscopY


ID: CGC21.013.00


An SEM produces images of a sample by scanning the surface with a focused beam of electrons. The electrons interact with atoms in the sample, producing various signals that contain information about the surface topography and composition of the sample.

We provide experienced operators utilizing the FEI Nova 230 NanoSEM Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). This SEM is capable of producing enlarged images of a variety of specimens, achieving magnifications of over 500,000x providing ultra high resolution imaging in a digital format. This important and widely used analytical tool provides exceptional depth of field and minimal specimen preparation.

SEM coupled with an energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer (EDS) provides elemental composition mapping. The following material properties can be studied:

  • Topography of materials

  • Surface morphology

  • Chemical composition

      • Spatial variation – Mapping

      • Spot analysis

  • Phases in multiphase samples

  • Crystallographic orientation



The Nova 230 NanoSEM produces enlarged images of various samples, achieving magnifications of over 500 000x, providing ultra-high resolution imaging in a digital format. The SEM works in two different vacuum modes. High vacuum mode and low vacuum mode. Low vacuum mode is primarily for observing charging materials. Features include:

  • Field emission electron source, with probe current to 10 nA (high resolution mode), 22 nA (analytical mode).

  • Beam acceleration voltages selectable from I kilovolt to 30 kilovolts.

  • Beam deceleration option minimizes beam damage to sensitive specimens.

  • Beam impact energy as low as 50 volts

  • Motorized 4 axis stage assures precise, reproducible specimen positioning

  • X-Ray Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) for elemental spectra, mapping.

Electron image signal detectors:

  • In-lens secondary electron detector [a.k.a. "immersion" or "through-the-lens" (TLD) secondary electron (SE) detector, TLD-SE]

  • In-lens BSE detector (through-the-lens detector, backscattered electron, TLD-BSE) Everhart-Thornley detector (ETD) [conventional "below-the-lens" detector]

  • Gaseous analytical detector (GAD) low kV backscattered electron detector.

  • Low vacuum secondary electron detector (LVD) for use with non-conductive samples

Resolution at optimum working distance:

  • 1.0 nm at 15 kV (TLD-SE)

  • 1.6 nm at 1 kV (TLD-SE)