Scanning electron microscopy paired with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy Microscopy

Scanning electron microscopy and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) paired provides powerful microscopy analysis.

Intertek's SEM/EDS paired instrument at the Intertek laboratories provides improved resolution of 1.0 nm by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and 0.8 nm by using a Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM).

Research and development of nano-materials challenges the performance of even the best microscopes. SEM/EDS combines top-quality imaging functionality with elemental analysis in the same chamber. The elimination of specimen preparation and improved energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) efficiency means faster, more accurate and comprehensive data.

The SEM/EDS pairing includes a Quanta 250 FEG from FEI Company coupled with a Quantax micro-analysis system from Bruker. These state-of-the-art instruments, in combination, bring greater capabilities to electron microscopy. Nano-scale particles and features can now be imaged without the prior application of a detail-obscuring conductive coating. Beam deceleration emphasises fine surface detail at the expense of unwanted sub-surface interactions.

Use of a scanning transmission electron detector (STEM) allows the laboratory to form images using electrons passing through a thin sample. Usage of the WetSTEM system means Intertek is able to analyse truly wet samples (relative humidity conditions up to 100%), and materials otherwise inaccessible by conventional electron microscopy, such as debris present in oil or nanoscale dispersions in emulsions. 

SEM/EDS expertise and capablities:

  • High-resolution imaging and variable vacuum, including Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) for wet materials
  • Reduced artifacts from coating and dehydration
  • Wet-STEM for imaging of liquid dispersions and emulsions at high magnification
  • Beam deceleration for increased surface sensitivity
  • EDS in low vacuum on non-conductive samples
  • Faster elemental mapping with improved discrimination of elements and substantially improved spatial resolution, down to 50nm
  • Wide elemental detection range: Beryllium (Be) to Americium (Am)
  • Quantification of elements, even for rough surfaces and particles
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