Caroline von Lavergne
M.Sc. Environmental Planning and Engineering Ecology
Specialist Analytics and ParticleCheck
+49 8106 9941 26


Electron microscopy

Scanning electron microscopy

In the scanning electron microscope the surface of a solid is depicted with high depth of field. With the help of a wolfram cathode an electron beam is generated, which screens the surface of a sample in the high vacuum. The hereby produced interaction products are detected and provide image information about the surface condition. Via secondary or backscatter-electron contrast different display formats can be chosen. By this evaluations of fracture planes or topographies are possible in high detail. To dissipate a picture in the SEM, the sample has to be conductive. This can happen by vaporizing with an extremely fine gold or graphite layer. Organic samples can also be handled in low vacuum. The GWP owns two scanning electron microscopes of the company JEOL with the following application areas:

  • Imaging by secondary or backscatter-electron contrast
  • Resolution in the two-digit nm-level (50,000-times)
  • Operation with low vacuum (1 to 270 Pa) possible (vaporization of the sample not necessary)
  • EDX-element-analysis with silicon-drift-detector
  • Large sample chamber: Samples with diameters up to 200 mm, 70 mm height and up to 2 kg weight

REM SE-Detektor

Secondary electrons are released by the interaction of the electron beam with the sample. The electrons are directed into a detector by an applied voltage and generate the signal. Shadowing effects create a topographical contrast that produces the image. This mode of detection is used for evaluation and documentation of fracture surfaces, corrosive attack and surface finishes.

REM RE-Detektor

With this detector the imaging signal is generated by decelerated and deflected primary electrons. The energy of the back-scattered electrons depends on the density of the sample material. Thus, a material contrast can be generated by e.g. impurities, layer systems or inclusions.

REM EDX-Detektor

The interaction of the electron beam with the sample material also creates characteristic X-ray radiation. The chemical composition can be determined qualitatively and semiquantitively by analyzing this radiation. For the evaluation of the chemical composition point and integral analyzes are used predominantly. By scanning the sample with the electron beam one can also realize linecans and mappings in false colors. The mappings are particularly interesting for the vivid visualization of the differences in the composition in relation to the structure.

REM colour images

SEM images reproduce their information in grayscale. Certain features can be highlighted with a professional image processing. In this case, the captured images are subsequently colored in order to draw attention to a certain detail and to provide as much information as possible with one single picture. This presentation is widely used for applications in medical technology and pharmacy.

[Translate to English:] Probenkammer REM
[Translate to English:] Freigewachsene ZnO Kristalle, SE Detektor
[Translate to English:] REM SE-Detektor Duktiler Gewaltbruch mit Scherwaben
[Translate to English:] REM SE-Detektor Oberflächenstruktur plasmainduzierter Brennfleck
[Translate to English:] Eisenhaltige Beläge ZrO₂-Wärmedämmschicht
[Translate to English:] Unterschied SE zu RE Detektor an Spritzschicht
[Translate to English:] AgCu Lot auf Keramik mit Ni Schicht
[Translate to English:] Flüssigmetallinduzierte Konrgrenzenschädigung in Gusseisen
[Translate to English:] Bruchausgang mit Schwingungsanriss an MnS-Zeile
[Translate to English:] Lidschatten mit Nanopartikeln

Society for Materials Testing
Ensuring quality | Accompanying development | Analyzing damage | Passing on knowledge

GWP Gesellschaft für Werkstoffprüfung mbH
Georg-Wimmer-Ring 25
85604 Zorneding/München

Tel. +49 8106 994110
Fax +49 8106 994111

Handelsregister München
HRB 53245
USt.-IdNr. DE 131 179 893

General Manager
Dr. Julius Nickl