The University of Arizona

S-3400N Fully Automated Variable Pressure SEM

Hitachi S-3400N


(information from the Hitachi web site)
The S-3400N is Hitachi's newest addition to a world class Variable Pressure SEM line-up. Built on the success of the S-3000 series instruments, the S-3400N offers advances in automation including full filament saturation and "no touch" objective aperture alignment. A new analytical chamber provides a total of ten ports with three high take off angle ports for EDS, Full Focusing WDS, PBS, EBSD, and XRF. A BSE detector allows TV rate scanning and high resolution imaging. Hitachi's patented Quad variable gun bias and SE accelerator plate ensures high currents for low voltage applications now approaching Field Emission performance.


High resolution imaging in both conventional high vacuum and unique variable pressure modes.
a) 3.0 nm resolution guaranteed in high vacuum mode or 4.0 nm in VP-mode. 10nm at 3Kv.
Unique VP-mode of operation
a) The VP-mode allows microscopy of wet, oily and non-conductive samples in their natural state without the need of conventional sample preparation.
Clean vacuum system - TMP high vacuum pump is standard, no water cooling required.
PC-controlled electronics
a) Windows operating system.
b) Mouse driven menus for changing operating modes with pressure settings ranging from 6 Pa through 270 Pa in the sample chamber.
Sophisticated instrumentation, range of applications, comfort of use: Our VP-SEM S-3400N/S-3700N series sets new standards with conventional scanning electron microscopes (SEM). Whereas microscopes are generally conceived and designed for high-voltage operation, we have developed the innovative Quad Bias system under our own project management. This means sharp and brilliant results can be achieved even below an accelerating voltage of 3 kV. In this way, your specimen will be protected from radiation damage and a detailed surface imaging is guaranteed. This technology also allows non-conducting and expensive preparation work. We also offer as an option our microscopes with variable chamber pressure. In contrast to standard high-vacuum chambers, this variable pressure also allows damp and organic specimen to be examined without any complications. This accelerates processing time significantly, especially in the case of major testing series. Our special patented ESED II - detector (second generation) was developed so that the secondary electrons of conducting and non-conducting specimens can be imaged in both variable pressure and high vacuum mode. Additional you find our innovative 4+1-Segment-BSE-Detector for more than 100 different modes (views). Further time saving is achieved by use of our high-performance TurboMolecularPump system, which allows the operator to achieve the desired high vacuum in the shortest possible time. Another special feature of our innovative microscopes is that a simple press of a button will switch between variable pressure, high-vacuum and low-voltage or combine the methods. Technical adjustment and maintenance is greatly facilitated by many automated functions."

S-3400 controls



  • 3.0 nm (at 30 kV, secondary electron image, High Vacuum)
  • 10 nm (at 3 kV, secondary electron image, High Vacuum)
  • 4.0 nm (at 30 kV, backscattered electron image Low Vacuum)


  • x 5 ~x 300,000

Accelerating voltage

  • 0.3 ~30 kV

Variable pressure range

  • 6 ~270 Pa (Through GUI)

Electron optics Electron gun

  • Pre-centered Cartridge Filament
  • Objective aperture click stop 5 positions

Gun bias voltage

  • Linked to accelerating voltage, Variable voltage supply, Quad bias function

Image shift

  • +/- 50 ~m (at W.D.=10 mm)

BSE detector

  • High Sensitivity Quad+1 BSE type

Specimen size

  • 200 mm dia. (for a Type II specimen chamber)

Specimen stages

Type II stage

  • X: 100 mm, Y: 50 mm, Z: 5 ~65 mm
  • T: 0 ~60 degrees, R: 360 degrees
  • 5 Axis Motorized
  • Specimen height 80mm at 10mm W.D.

Viewing monitor

  • LCD monitor (1,280 x 960 pixels)


  • PC/AT compatible, OS: Windows XP

Operation table

  • Mouse, Full-Keyboard, and Function Rotary Knobs

Comment input

  • Built-in, 56 x 28 characters (maximum)

Graphic input

  • Built-in

Data framing for characters

  • Built-in

Automated functions

  • Automatic aperture alignment
  • Auto brightness & contrast
  • Autofocus
  • Autostigmation & focus
  • Auto gun alignment
  • Auto filament saturation
  • Auto start
  • Auto photo mode and Full automated operation

Frame memory

  • 640 x 480 pixels,  1,280 x 960 pixels, 2,560 x 1,920 pixels,   5120 x 3840 pixels

Image processing

  • Recursive filter, frame integration, 4-split screen image display, gray scale conversion (LUT)
  • Mixing of 2 simultaneous signals

X-ray analysis

  • Working distance: 10 mm
  • X-ray take-off angle: 35 degrees

Sample holder

Options - Thermo Scientific EDS with Silicon Drift Detector UltraDry 30

(information taken from the Thermo Scientific web site)

Silicon Drift Detector UltraDry 30 Improves Throughput and Reduces Sample Damage
Thermo's UltraDry 30 provides silicon drift detection (SDD) technology with a larger active area (30 mm 2). This enables high data throughput with the convenience of no-LN2 operation. The 30 mm2 active area also means that you can reduce beam currents while still getting sufficient statistics, and reduce sample damage.

SSD UltraDry30 EDS

 Automated Acquisition Parameters -- Eliminates guesswork and trial-and-error data collection

Quantitative X-ray Mapping -- Produces richer elemental distribution data

COMPASS -- Multivariate statistical analysis software producing "pure" components

Xphase -- Analyzes X-ray data to produce phase distributions

Spectral Match -- Matches spectral data with known alloys and compounds

When combined, these tools present a comprehensive analysis of the sample's composition, not just in terms of elemental distribution (x-ray maps), but as a complete representation of the sample's composition including the identification of compounds and alloys.

Direct-to-Phase Algorithms
Using these advanced algorithms, Direct-to-Phase extracts and displays known phases while the data is still being collected. Now you can allow your EDS system to decide when sufficient statistics have been collected, or you can visualize the data as it develops.

Direct-to-Phase combines Thermo's advancements in Spectral Imaging analysis to produce the most comprehensive tool for understanding your sample's composition. Direct-to-Phase does much more than simply present elemental data in maps and spectra. It develops an information-rich picture of your sample's composition. And it produces complete data ten times faster than current X-ray microanalysis technology.

Options - Renishaw Structural and Chemical Analyser

(information taken from the Renishaw web)

Scanning Electron Microscope - Raman System

The Renishaw structural and chemical analyser (SCA) unites two well-established technologies, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy, resulting in a powerful and unique technique which allows morphological, elemental, chemical, physical, and electronic analysis without moving the sample between instruments. Structural and Chemical Analyzer

Raman Spectrometer

Raman Spectrometer


  • Morphology and mean atomic number from SEM (SEI and BEI)
  • Elemental composition from EDS analysis
  • Chemical composition and identification from Raman spectroscopy
  • Physical structure (crystallographic and mechanical data) from Raman spectroscopy
  • Electronic and physical structure from CL and PL spectroscopies


These include:

  • Materials science - corrosion studies, electronic materials, polymers, composites
  • Semiconductors - particle contamination identification
  • Pharmaceuticals - coating, filler and excipient identification, polymorphism studies
  • Forensic science - identification of explosives, drugs, fibres, pigments


  • Simultaneous SEM and Raman spectroscopy
  • Features of interest can be easily located using the SEM. These can then be identified rapidly and unambiguously using Raman spectroscopy.
  • EDS and white light images from the same sample position
  • EDS spectra, maps, and white light images can be acquired from the same sample position as the SEM image and the Raman spectra.

Cathodoluminescence (CL) and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopies

The Raman collection optics are fully compatible with both PL and CL spectroscopies. The former uses a laser as the excitation source, the latter the electron beam. Each technique can reveal both electronic and physical information about the sample, and CL can be sensitive to very subtle changes in composition and residual strain.

Overview of SEM-Raman system

Adobe Acrobat PDF

Renishaw's structural and chemical analyser (SCA) for scanning electron microscopes



Renishaw's structural and chemical analyser enhances scanning electron microscopes by adding the chemical analysis powers of Raman spectroscopy (four page brochure)

Options - Quartz Taipan

vpon box
Quartz Taipan

Real-Time Interactive Collaboration

The Hitachi S-3400N Type II (VPSEM,EDS, CL, PL, Raman) is equipped with the Quartz PCI Collaboration Microscopy system that can enable interactive sessions through the internet. Our installed system will allow live video feeds of the VPSEM LAB and SEM sessions. Images can be transfered and viewed rapidly through Quartz Taipan. The system can be used for off-site collaboration from laboratory to office or laboratory to classroom presentations. Distant and remote locations can now utilize our services.

Quartz Taipan - The Taipan Server Appliance is designed to capture data from almost any digital imaging instrument. With Taipan as the central archive for your laboratory, your data is only a network or Internet connection away. The Taipan Server Appliance provides large storage capacity and completely secure data accessibility via the LAN or through the Internet. See:

The Hitachi S-3400 SEM is installed in the VPSEM LAB.


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University Spectroscopy and Imaging Facilities