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Cathodoluminescence (CL) is the process by which a material emits characteristic photons of visible light when struck by electrons (such as those produced by the source in an electron microscope). Researchers in geology, optoelectronics, failure analysis, ceramics, glass and many other fields use CL detection as a unique way to highlight sample properties that are not visible with conventional electron or X-ray imaging techniques. By correlating CL data to topography, crystallography and elemental information, a better understanding of photonic properties, composition, material quality or sample history can be obtained.

CL detector

A range of third-party CL accessories exists for the Thermo Scientific SEM and DualBeam product lines. These are usually specialized in spectral CL detection, i.e. the collection of a full spectrum for each pixel of the image (also called hyperspectral imaging). While this provides a great deal of information, most CL solutions suffer from alignment and ease-of-use issues, limitations in working distance and field of view, and/or cannot perform simultaneous detection of X-ray/backscattered electron signal.

The Thermo Scientific RGB Cathodoluminescence Detector offers real-color CL imaging, without any of the beforementioned limitations, integrated into the instrument user interface. It features a flat design that slides between the sample and the final lens, much like a retractable backscatter detector. Unlike conventional mirror-based solutions, the large detector area eliminates the need for any optical alignment and does not limit the field of view. Additionally, simultaneous detection of secondary electrons (SE), backscatter electrons (BSE) or X-rays is possible, enabling correlation of CL data with SE, BSE and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) in only a single scan of the electron beam.

Integrated into the user interface of the microscope, the RGB Cathodoluminescence Detector makes color images available as soon as the beam is scanning. This makes the detector a unique asset to multi-user labs requiring CL data and correlation with worry-free operation.

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Quality control and failure analysis using electron microscopy

Quality control and failure analysis

Quality control and assurance are essential in modern industry. We offer a range of EM and spectroscopy tools for multi-scale and multi-modal analysis of defects, allowing you to make reliable and informed decisions for process control and improvement.

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Fundamental Materials Research

Novel materials are investigated at increasingly smaller scales for maximum control of their physical and chemical properties. Electron microscopy provides researchers with key insight into a wide variety of material characteristics at the micro- to nano-scale.



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Geoscience relies on consistent and accurate multi-scale observation of features within rock samples. SEM-EDS, combined with automation software, enables direct, large-scale analysis of texture and mineral composition for petrology and mineralogy research.

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As the demand for oil and gas continues, there is an ongoing need for efficient and effective extraction of hydrocarbons. Thermo Fisher Scientific offers a range of microscopy and spectroscopy solutions for a variety of petroleum science applications.

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Every component in a modern vehicle is designed for safety, efficiency, and performance. Detailed characterization of automotive materials with electron microscopy and spectroscopy informs critical process decisions, product improvements, and new materials.

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Thermo Scientific Helios Hydra plasma focused ion beam scanning electron microscope (DualBeam)

Helios Hydra DualBeam

  • 4 fast switchable ion species (Xe, Ar, O, N) for optimized PFIB processing of a widest range of materials
  • Ga-free TEM sample preparation
  • Extreme high resolution SEM imaging

Helios 5 DualBeam

  • Fully automated, high-quality, ultra-thin TEM sample preparation
  • High throughput, high resolution subsurface and 3D characterization
  • Rapid nanoprototyping capabilities

Helios 5 PFIB DualBeam

  • Gallium-free STEM and TEM sample preparation
  • Multi-modal subsurface and 3D information
  • Next-generation 2.5 μA xenon plasma FIB column
Thermo Scientific Scios 2 plasma focused ion beam scanning electron microscope (DualBeam)

Scios 2 DualBeam

  • Full support of magnetic and non-conductive samples
  • High throughput subsurface and 3D characterization
  • Advanced ease of use and automation capabilities

Axia ChemiSEM

  • Live quantitative elemental mapping
  • High fidelity scanning electron microscopy imaging
  • Flexible and easy to use, even for novice users
  • Easy maintenance
Thermo Scientific Apreo 2 scanning electron microscope (SEM)

Apreo 2 SEM

  • High-performance SEM for all-round nanometer or sub-nanometer resolution
  • In-column T1 backscatter detector for sensitive, TV-rate materials contrast
  • Excellent performance at long working distance (10 mm)
Thermo Scientific Prisma E scanning electron microscope (SEM)

Prisma E SEM

  • Entry-level SEM with excellent image quality
  • Easy and quick sample loading and navigation for multiple samples
  • Compatible with a wide range of materials thanks to dedicated vacuum modes
Thermo Scientific Verios 5 XHR scanning electron microscope (SEM)

Verios 5 XHR SEM

  • Monochromated SEM for sub-nanometer resolution over the full 1 keV to 30 keV energy range
  • Easy access to beam landing energies as low as 20 eV
  • Excellent stability with piezo stage as standard
Thermo Scientific Quattro E scanning electron microscope (SEM)

Quattro ESEM

  • Ultra-versatile high-resolution FEG SEM with unique environmental capability (ESEM)
  • Observe all information from all samples with simultaneous SE and BSE imaging in every mode of operation
Thermo Scientific Maps electron microscopy software

Maps Software

  • Acquire high-resolution images over large areas
  • Easily find regions of interest
  • Automate image acquisition process
  • Correlate data from different sources

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