Scanning Electron Microscopy

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Electron microscopy is a technique used for imaging samples at a resolution of 20x-30,000x. Both secondary electrons or backscattered electrons can be used to image the sample. SEM rasters an electron beam across the sample, so the should be electrically conductive to prevent charging. Samples are often mounted to a metallic stub via conductive carbon tape. Highly insulating samples can be made conductive by sputtering a thin layer of gold onto their surface.

SEM Stub Most SEM's are coupled with electron dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, which can be used to identify elements heavier than lithium.