Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is one of the most versatile and well known analytical techniques. Compared to conventional optical microscope, an electron microscope offers advantages including high magnification, large depth of focus, great resolution and ease of sample preparation and observation. Electrons generated from an electron gun enter a surface of a sample and generate many low energy secondary electrons. The intensity of these secondary electrons is governed by the surface topography of the sample. An image of the sample surface is therefore constructed by measuring secondary electron intensity as a function of the position of the scanning primary electron beam.