In situ Electron Microscopy

As materials research continues to advance, it is becoming increasingly important to not only observe materials in their initial and final state but also throughout their various applications. This might include imaging metal feedstocks as they are heated for additive manufacturing or wetting and drying of functionalized nanoparticles in order to understand their behavior in real-world conditions. Characterizing these behaviors is crucial as they impact critical research areas such as clean energy, transportation, catalysis, nano-electronics, and even human health.

While electron microscopy (EM) has traditionally been a static imaging method, advances in sample handling and rapid imaging have allowed the technique to be used for live, in situ observations. The high resolution of EM enables you to investigate nanoscale annealing behavior, phase transformations in metals, structural changes, sintering phenomena in catalysts, segregation/diffusion phenomena, and more.

In situ EM analysis of materials requires that the instruments offer fast and quantitative data acquisition along with dynamic high-resolution imaging. This is especially important when the investigated processes are dependent on rapidly changeable variables like temperature or humidity. For such dynamic experiments, the combination of flexibility in sample imaging, the ability to use different beam and vacuum conditions, and the fast collection of compositional data are indispensable.

A piece of solder heated and cooled directly within the scanning electron microscope. (Video)

Thermo Scientific environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and DualBeam (focused ion beam SEM) systems can operate under a variety of conditions that are needed for realistic in situ experiments. In particular, the MEMS-based Thermo Scientific μHeater Holder, in combination with in situ sample preparation, provides high-quality characterization at elevated temperatures.

Sodium chloride crystals dissolving and recrystallizing, observed directly in the low-vacuum mode of an environmental SEM.
Tissue fiber wetting and drying observed directly in the low-vacuum mode of an environmental SEM.
Metal nanoparticles coalescing as they are heated.
Sodium chloride crystals dissolving and recrystallizing, observed directly in the low-vacuum mode of an environmental SEM.
Tissue fiber wetting and drying observed directly in the low-vacuum mode of an environmental SEM.
Metal nanoparticles coalescing as they are heated.

Applications

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Quality Control
 

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.

 


Samples


Battery Research

Battery development is enabled by multi-scale analysis with microCT, SEM and TEM, Raman spectroscopy, XPS, and digital 3D visualization and analysis. Learn how this approach provides the structural and chemical information needed to build better batteries.

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Polymers Research

Polymer microstructure dictates the material’s bulk characteristics and performance. Electron microscopy enables comprehensive microscale analysis of polymer morphology and composition for R&D and quality control applications.

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Metals Research

Effective production of metals requires precise control of inclusions and precipitates. Our automated tools can perform a variety of tasks critical for metal analysis including; nanoparticle counting, EDS chemical analysis and TEM sample preparation.

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Catalysis Research

Catalysts are critical for a majority of modern industrial processes. Their efficiency depends on the microscopic composition and morphology of the catalytic particles; EM with EDS is ideally suited for studying these properties.

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Nanoparticles

Materials have fundamentally different properties at the nanoscale than at the macroscale. To study them, S/TEM instrumentation can be combined with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to obtain nanometer, or even sub-nanometer, resolution data.

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Products

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Helios 5 Laser PFIB System

  • Fast, millimeter-scale cross sections
  • Statistically relevant deep subsurface and 3D data analysis
  • Shares all capabilities of the Helios 5 PFIB platform

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

Scios 2 DualBeam

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

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

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

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)

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

Auto Slice and View 4.0 Software

  • Automated serial sectioning for DualBeam
  • Multi-modal data acquisition (SEM, EDS, EBSD)
  • On-the-fly editing capabilities
  • Edge based cut placement

AutoScript 4

  • improved reproducibility and accuracy
  • Unattended, high throughput imaging and patterning
  • Supported by Python 3.5-based scripting environment

μHeater

  • Ultra-fast heating solution for in situ high resolution imaging
  • Fully integrated
  • Temperatures up to 1200 °C
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Electron microscopy services for
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To ensure optimal system performance, we provide you access to a world-class network of field service experts, technical support, and certified spare parts.