Scanning Electron Microscopy
This article outlines the beam/sample interactions and the basic instrumental design of a scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which include the electron gun, probeforming column (consisting of magnetic electron lenses, apertures, and scanning coils), electron detectors, and vacuum system. It discusses the contrasts mechanisms used for imaging and analyzing materials in the SEM. These include the topographic contrast, compositional contrast, and electron channeling pattern and orientation contrast. Special instrumentation and accessory equipment used at elevated pressures and during the X-ray microanalysis are reviewed. The article also provides information on the sample preparation procedure and the materials applications of the SEM.