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Scanning Electron Microscopy & EDS

Service Overview

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is used to evaluate materials and processes utilized in device production. With this technology, we are able to capture high-resolution images with excellent depth of field that allows for unrivaled observation of surface topography and features of interest. SEM provides information about texture, chemical composition, and crystalline structure. This information can be used for material characterization, design validation, and failure analysis.

Our SEM is also capable of performing electron-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), which can be used to assess surface characteristics of various types of materials, help identify possible reasons for failure of components, and contribute to the overall assessment of surface chemistry.

Additional Information

What equipment do you use for this type of microscopy?

We perform all of our scans with the JEOL JSM-6610LV SEM. The microscope has a large chamber that is able to handle samples up to 30cm in diameter, 8cm in height, and up to 3kg in weight with a stage that is fully automated with software protection.

The SEM is capable of scanning under secondary electron or backscatter modes, and is equipped with energy-dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy (EDS) capabilities using Oxford Instruments’ X-Max EDS system.

What are the equipment specifications?

Parameter Specification
Resolution High Vacuum Mode  3.0 nm (30kV)
8nm (3kV)
15nm (1kV)
Low Vacuum Mode  4.0 nm (30kV)
Accelerating Voltage 300V to 30 kV
Magnification 5X to 300 000X
Objective Lens Super Conical Lens
Max. Specimen Size 304.8mm∅ x 80mm tall
Max. Specimen Weight 3kg
Specimen Stage Tilt -10° to 90°
Rotation 360° continuous

What materials can be analyzed in the SEM?

We can analyze plastic, glass, ceramic, and biological samples. Samples that do not have a natural charge will need to undergo additional processing in the form of gold sputter or carbon coating, which the OIC can also provide.

What can I do with SEM technology?

SEM technology and analysis can be used for material comparison, process evaluation, fatigue and corrosion analysis, characterization of defects, surface preparations, contamination identification, product or process marketing, and quality control.

What can I do with EDS technology?

With our EDS system we are able to perform a variety of different chemical analyses. The SEM can be used to determine the area of interest on the specimen by using the backscatter electron detector. Using this type of detector will show contrast in the image between elements of different atomic weight. Once the area of interest is determined, we can use the EDS to map the area and characterize the elements present. A clear display of multiple spectra enables quick and easy ways of identifying the changes in the composition between different regions on a sample.  It also enables easy comparison with other sites of interest.

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