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The department has a Tescan VEGA scanning electron microscope (SEM) capable of imaging very small objects and simultanously quantifying the element content.

SEM can be used for research and educational purposes within a range of disciplines such as geoscience, archaeology, bioscience, material science, engineering and chemistry, where you want to e.g. investigate particle morphology (particle size, shape, structure etc.) and characterize minerals, metals, rocks, hydrocarbons, microfossils and other materials in situ.

This scanning electron microscope can perform different types of analyses, e.g. points, line-scans or mapping. The specimens can be single particles or material mounted on stubs, thin sections or polished blocks.

Technical facts:

  • Resolution (normally): 3-10 nm.
  • Sample holder: Rotation 360 degrees and tilt -60 to +90 degrees.
  • Cathode: Tungsten with energy range 200 eV to 30 keV, current 1 pA to 2 µA.
  • Detector: Oxford Xplore EDS with X1 pulse processor (mapping count rates > 1,000,000 cps and quantitative analyses >100,000 cps).
  • Elements: From boron (B) to californium (Cf) in the periodic table of elements.
  • Maximum field of view: 7.7 mm with a Working Distance (WD) from 10 mm to more than 50 mm at maximal WD.
  • Magnification: 2x to 1,000,000x.
  • Max. sample height: 54 mm (or 81 mm without the rotating platform).
  • Max. image size: 16000 x 16000 pixel (TIFF, PNG, BMP, JPEG and GIF).

Depending on the material it is recommended to coat the specimens with e.g. carbon, platinum or gold.