The ESEM Laboratory Capabilities

The equipment in question is an analytical Quanta 200s Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) produced by the Phillips Electron Optics company. The microscope combines high vacuum, low vacuum and gaseous environments to support a variety of material characterization applications. The instrument allows for examination of non- conducting, contaminated, hydrated and even living samples without significant sample preparation, in addition to those samples that have always been viewable under conventional scanning electron microscopes. It allows for user selection of accelerating voltage, magnification, gas type, gas pressure and detector type. This flexibility promotes cross- disciplinary research for all who utilize the ESEM. The system includes the following capabilities:

      • Resolution of 3.5 nm in any environmental mode
      • Magnification range of 7x to 1,000,000x
      • Accelerating voltage of 200V to 30kV
      • Tungsten gun electron source with computer optimized variable bias and filament distance
      • Automated focusing and astigmatism correction
      • Chamber pressures from 6x10^-6 to 26 mbar
      • Secondary electron detectors capable of operating under any of the system environments
      • Operator control of primary operating parameters with computer compensation for secondary parameters
      • 4-axis motorized stage with 50 mm travel and 75 degree tilt
      • 284 mm diameter specimen chamber
      • Access ports for installing analytical installments and sub-stages
      • Pentium PC for microscopic control and network communication

    The system also includes back-scattered electron detection, energy dispersive spectroscopy (both qualitative and quantitative ) with ultra-thin window for light element detection, a Peltier cooling stage for moist samples, and a heating stage with a maximum temperature of 1000 C.

    For further information regarding the operation of the ESEM please download the Standard Operating Procedure in pdf format.








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