Evaluate surface structure better using Scanning Electronic Microscopy (SEM)

Sirris has a scanning microscope allowing us to carry out structural and dimensional analysis. With this equipment we are able to help companies both identify the origin of a defect in a product and to control its quality. There are many applications, especially in materials science, biology and electronics.

The scanning electron microscope is a microscope capable of taking high resolution images of the surface of a sample. SEM images have a characteristic three-dimensional appearance and are useful for evaluating the surface structure of a sample.

In a typical SEM, the electrons are transmitted by a tungsten cathode and are accelerated towards an anode. When the primary electrons hit the surface, they are scattered by the atoms of the sample. Thanks to these diffusion phenomena, the electron beam propagates efficiently and fills a volume in the shape of a drop of water, called interaction volume, which extends from some nanometres to some micrometres of the surface. The interactions in this region lead to the later emission of electrons which are then detected to produce an image.

There are many applications, especially in materials science, biology and electronics. The photos below show some examples:

Appearance of the grain size used in additive manufacturing (1), verification of the particle size used as standard for measuring instruments of size distribution (2), highlighting of carbon nanotubes (3), analysis of surface structuration (4), analysis of the fracture facies of composite material (fibre distribution: 5) and that of a thermoplastic material (composed of 40% PP and 60% PC: 6)

Do you want more information about the method of test quality control used at Sirris? Go to the dedicated page on our website.

Tags: