The University of Arizona

Scanning Electron Microscopy

Our Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) service is supported by four Hitachi SEMs with various coupled attachements to provide complementary capabilities. We offer full analyical service depending on your needs, assisted use service and user-operated access to microscopes and sample preparation facilities.

Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM)

The Hitachi S-4800 Type II SEM is equiped with a Thermo NORAN System 6 X-Ray Microanalysis System supported by a NanoTrace LN-Cooled Si(Li) detector for Energy-dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis and a Hitachi transmitted electron detector for STEM imaging. It is capable of ultra-high and high-resolution imaging including low voltage application.

Specification: Cold field emission electron gun; Resolution 1nm at 15 KV, 1.4nm at 1KV; Magnification 20X to 800,000X; Imaging voltages 100V to 30KV; STEM detector; BSE low and/or high angle; EDS detection range Boron and higher; full EDS capabilities including spectral imaging, qualitative and quantitative analysis; Mn resolution down to 129 eV, F resolution down to 65 eV, C resolution down to 62 eV.

This instrument is ideal for ultra-high resolution nanometer scale imaging and analysis in applications such as semiconductor, materials research and nanotechnology. We can assist and provide full analytical services in:

  • Ultra-High Resolution Scanning Electron Microscopy (Field Emission) - Secondary Electron Imaging is useful for surface morphology studies.
  • Backscattered Electron Imaging - BSE Imaging provides image contrast and is suitable for obtaining surface topography and elemental composition.
  • Energy-dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy - EDS Analysis is ideal for qualitative analysis and spectral mapping during SEM sessions.
  • Scanning Transmission Electron Imaging - STEM Imaging is useful for imaging samples in SEM mode or STEM mode and performing EDS analysis during the same session.

sputtered gold on audio tape

Image of sputtered gold/palladium on magnetic audio tape imaged at 220K x magnification, 15kV; more info on the S-4800

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Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscopy (VPSEM)

The Hitachi S-3400N Type II is equiped with a Thermo NORAN System 6 X-Ray Microanalysis System supported by an UltraDry30 Silicon Drift Detector for Energy-dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis. It is also equiped with a Renishaw Structural and Chemical Analyzer (SCA) capable of Raman, Cathodoluminescent (CL) and Photolumnescence (PL) Spectroscopy.

Specification: Tungsten thermionic emitter, Quad Bias; Resolution 30nm at 3KV, 3nm at 30KV; SE and BSE; Samples as tall as 30mm; Chamber pressure 6 to 270 Pa in variable pressure mode; EDS detection range Boron and higher; full EDS capabilities including spectral imaging, qualitative and quantitative analysis, resolution options from 128eV to 143eV. Renishaw InVia Raman Spectrometer; 514nm, 50mW laser; CL Spectrometer from 400 to 1060nm.

This instrument is ideal for imaging chanlenging specimens in various applications including materials and biological research. We can assist and provide full analytical services in:

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (Standard) - Secondary Electron Imaging is useful for surface morphology studies.
  • Backscattered Electron Imaging - BSE Imaging (also operates in Variable Pressure Mode) provides image contrast and is suitable for obtaining surface topography and elemental composition.
  • Energy-dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy - EDS Analysis is ideal for qualitative analysis and spectral mapping during SEM sessions.
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy - Cathodoluminescence (SEM-CL Imaging) - The SEM coupled cathodoluminescence detector is capable of producing cathodoluminescent (CL) images of luminescent materials (ex. geological materials). For example, CL can provide general information on the trace elements contained in minerals and provide a distribution of CL in a given material.
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy - Photoluminescence (SEM-PL Imaging) - The SEM coupled photoluminescent detector is capable of electronic and physical structure analysis.
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy - Raman (SEM - Raman Imaging) - The SEM coupled raman detector is ideal for chemical composition and identification raman active compounds. The SCA system is useful for characterization of materials in many applications.

Image of gun shot residue (GSR) on fibers consiting of 65%polyester, 35%cotton imaged under variable pressure mode 100Pa, 500x magnification, 15kV; more info on the S-3400N

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University Spectroscopy and Imaging Facilities
520-621-5097