Scanning electron microscopy advantages

Scanning Electron Microcopy (SEM) has developed into a critical tool within numerous different research fields, spanning everything from materials science to forensics to industrial manufacturing.  As soon as microscopic information about the surface or near-surface region of a specimen is needed, SEM becomes a necessary tool by allowing more of a specimen to be in focus at one time. For that reason, the method finds applications in nearly every branch of science, technology, and industry.   


Scanning electron microscopy learning center

This learning center was created to connect researchers around the world with the latest information on scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Our comprehensive learning center will help users answer questions about our comprehensive portfolio of floor-model and desktop SEMs by answering questions about and proving usable data by combining high-resolution imaging and analysis across scales and modes.  The content you will find contains rich and reliable information designed for new and experienced researchers who are exploring the capabilities of SEM.  Via the learning center you will be able to learn about SEM at your own pace.  Our technical experts are here to support you every step of the way. 



Scanning Electron Microscopes

Since the introduction of electron microscopes in the 1930s, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has developed into a critical tool within numerous different research fields, spanning everything from materials science to forensics to industrial manufacturing. As soon as microscopic information about the surface or near-surface region of a specimen is needed, SEM becomes a necessary tool. For that reason, the method finds applications in nearly every branch of science, technology, and industry.

Phenom Desktop SEMs

Desktop SEM instruments boast enhanced ease of use, democratizing SEM technology. Additionally, they have the added benefit of a reduced frame size. While traditional “floor model” SEM instrumentation can require a specialized room or facility, desktop instrumentation is far more robust. Some have even taken their desktop SEMs on the road, providing on-site electron microscopy analysis via mobile laboratories.



Scanning electron microscopy webinars

SEM is helping researchers unlock some of the world’s greatest material and structural mysteries. Recent advancements to workflows and instruments enable scientists to expand their labs’ capabilities in a variety of application areas.

Automate Your Quality Control

Automation is rapidly improving quality control—with fast, reproducible results. It’s saving time and money, allowing quality managers to quickly adjust their production process before costly failures and delays occur. In this on-demand webinar, we show how you can improve the quality control process with the next generation in automated desktop analysis.

Speakers: Alexander Bouman

Key learning objectives:

  • Obtain the quality information you need to discover failures early and rapidly adjust your production process when needed.
  • Automate quality control to process a high volume of samples with fewer chances of human error. (We have both a customized and standard solution, depending on the need.)
  • Get up to speed quickly with an all-new, easy-to-learn interface ideal for a wide range of applications.

Particle Analysis Applications Using Desktop SEM Webinar Series

The Thermo Scientific Phenom ParticleX Desktop SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) is a multi-purpose desktop SEM designed for multiple applications at the microscale: additive manufacturing, technical cleanliness, steel manufacturing QC, batteries and energy storage, and gunshot residue analysis. A versatile solution for high-quality, in-house analysis, the Phenom ParticleX Desktop SEM gives you the ability to carry out speedy characterization, verification, and classification of materials, supporting your production with fast, accurate, and trusted data. The system is simple to operate and fast to learn, opening up particle, material, and failure analysis to a wider group of users. In each webinar, our expert will focus on one particular analysis application and how the Phenom ParticleX Desktop SEM overcomes some of the most common challenges.

Speakers: Luigi Raspolini, Rogier Miltenburg

Selecting the Scanning Electron Microscope that meets your needs

It is a good time to be in the market for a scanning electron microscope (SEM): new products and new accessories are launched every year and there are many levels of performance to choose from. But where to start? For researchers in academia or industrial R&D, it is important to match the SEM capabilities to the needs of the lab and its users. This webinar explains how different applications translate to requirements for different features and specifications on the SEM. We’ll then show how these features are represented on the line-up of full-size Thermo Scientific SEMs.

Speaker: Daniel Phifer

Phenom Pro(X) G6 Desktop SEM

The Thermo Scientific Phenom Pro(X) G6 Desktop SEM is a robust, versatile, and effortless desktop scanning electron microscope designed to expand the capabilities of research facilities. Its fool-proof sample preparation and handling produce unparalleled time to data. When compared to the more common tungsten filament electron sources, its CeB6 electron source is longer lasting with higher brightness. This newest generation offers fast, high-resolution imaging, and the ProX model also features an integrated energy dispersive X-ray diffraction (EDS) detector for elemental analysis.

Speaker: Alexander Bouman

Introducing the Phenom Perception Gunshot Residue (GSR) Desktop SEM

Scanning electron microscopes in forensic and crime laboratories play many roles, including gunshot residue analysis (GSR) used to determine the chemistry of particles collected from firearm suspects. These analyses frequently run for several hours and prevent other SEM uses. The ideal solution is a dedicated and cost-effective desktop SEM for GSR analysis such as the Thermo Scientific Phenom Perception GSR Desktop SEM. In this webinar, we detail the Phenom Perception GSR software workflow used in compliance with ASTM and ENFSI guidelines. The webinar covers the accuracy of the instrument and outlines the critical requirements for an effective SEM for gunshot residue analysis. We show how users can collect results from up to 30 samples in a defined recipe, scan each sample frame-by-frame, measure particle morphology at high magnification and examine each particle to classify via EDS. We also review an important step in revisiting the sample to confirm the chemistry of the GSR particle. Afterwards, the user generates a report to be presented as solid evidence. Maximum efficiency with minimal effort.

Speakers: Jeroen Smulders, Rogier Miltenburg

Phenom ParticleX Desktop SEM – Quality Starts at the Microscale

Several industries use standardized expressions of cleanliness in the detection of contamination in fuels, greases and oils, coolants, and hydraulic fluids. Detection and classification of these contaminants mitigates harmful scratching or blockages in gears, nozzles, and other spray mechanisms.

Additive manufacturing requires careful examination of feedstocks—particularly when recycled powders are used—to assure the integrity of printed materials and to maintain batch-to-batch consistency.

The Thermo Scientific Phenom ParticleX TC and Phenom ParticleX AM Desktop SEMs provide the perfect platform for the routine inspection of materials when the identification and reporting of particle sizes, shapes, and elemental chemistry are critical to manufacturing operations.

Speaker: Alexander Bouman

New Phenom ParticleX Steel Desktop SEM

The Thermo Scientific Phenom ParticleX Steel Desktop SEM provides high-quality imaging and elemental analysis of steel samples to aid in the production of high-value steels. It generates both SEM and EDS data, providing structural and elemental analysis of the sample. Watch our on-demand webinar to learn more about: industry-specific software and automation designed specifically for inclusion analysis in metallurgic samples, small footprint, which allows it be added to any analytical lab without the need to adjust facility infrastructure, easy-to-use interface and sample loading that allow you to begin using the instrument with minimal training, and high-quality, in-house SEM quality control.



Scanning electron microscopy case studies

DSM Improved their Material Research with a Desktop SEM

Discover how DSM Improved their Material Research with a Desktop SEM

One of the key competence centers in R&D at DSM is DSM Ahead, located in Geleen, The Netherlands. The research center supports most of DSM’s business entities, including Engineering Plastics, Dyneema, Resins and Nutritional Products. In this case study, DSM addresses how to improve filtration performance with the use of a Phenom desktop SEM, create system accessibility of detailed investigations for all divisions, and analyze samples with ease of use by its operators.

In this case study, DSM addresses how to:

  • Improve filtration performance with the use of Phenom desktop SEM
  • Create system accessibility of detailed investigations for all divisions
  • Analyze samples with ease of use by its operators

Download case study

Discover How GMSI Advanced Their Materials Development with a Desktop SEM

Is it true that as a lab operator, you work under constant time pressure? Do you find it challenging to deliver output quickly, while maintaining a high standard of quality? Then it is good to know that desktop SEM can help you with that challenge. But we do not want you to take our word for it. We would rather let a real user elaborate on the applications. One of those users is our customer Peter Guercio, President of Graphite Machining Services & Innovations (GMSI). In this case study, Peter explains how GMSI sped up their working process with a Phenom ProX EDS on site, the company no longer needs to send samples out for testing and wait for results, the Phenom ProX Desktop SEM proved to be a huge time-saver, and greatly benefitted their quality-control.

Download case study

Measuring Thrombin Activity at Synapse with the Desktop SEM

Coagulation of blood is a complicated and critical process. At the Maastricht University and Synapse spin-off fundamental research is taking place and practical detection methods are being developed for thrombosis and bleeding. A good snapshot of the clotting helps researchers to gain a better grasp of the phenomenon. The case study addresses the use of the Phenom desktop SEM combined with the FiberMetric software application for detection of thrombosis.

Download case study

Research on the Structure of Nonwoven Textiles at Technical University Liberec with the Desktop SEM

The Department of Nonwovens at the Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic, runs courses in production technology, evaluation of nonwovens, and innovative methods in nonwoven textile production and technical textiles. Research activities involve the testing and analysis of the structure of nonwoven textiles. The case study addresses the use of the Phenom desktop SEM combined with the FiberMetric software application to improve the work flow and research programs.

Download case study

Tracking Failures with Desktop SEM

Every year, the Materials and Failure Analysis department at the Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid deals with over 1,000 cases of failure and the identification of material characteristics. To do this, it makes use of all customary methods of plastics analysis. This case study outlines some of the applications and explains how the Phenom ProX Desktop SEM allows researchers at the institute investigate various plastic materials without extensive sample preparations.

Download case study



Scanning electron microscopy papers and documents


Brochure: Scanning Electron Microscopes

The widest range of SEM solutions for all your surface characterization needs.




Scanning electron microscopy blog posts

Over the years, scanning electron microscopy has become a powerful tool in many different research fields. The main reason for this growth in popularity is the continuously shrinking dimensions of the materials used in various applications. Thermo Scientific Phenom desktop scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) have been created to make the detailed imaging capabilities of electron microscopy available to everyone by featuring enhanced ease of use. Do you want to unlock the power of scanning electron microscopy without compromising on usability? Read our Phenom desktop SEM blogs to enhance your knowledge of SEM and find out how our instruments can optimally support your research.



Recorded demos

 Phenom Pharos G2 SEM Demonstration

The Thermo Scientific Phenom Pharos G2 Desktop SEM progresses nanomaterial research by delivering high resolutions and a wide acceleration voltage range, all in a desktop system that can fit within a lab or office. From more advanced textiles and food packaging to improved solar and wind energy, this easy-to-use instrument supports rapid innovation for a wide range of industries. The Phenom Pharos G2 Desktop SEM is intuitive to operate and highly productive, making it a versatile instrument for high-volume industrial and academic labs.

 Discover the Phenom Perception GSR Desktop SEM

Gunshot residue (GSR) analysis plays an important role in the determination if a firearm has been used in a crime. Established GSR analysis techniques are based on the use of a scanning electron microscope (SEM), which is used to scan the sample and find suspect GSR particles. If a suspect particle is found, an energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) technique is used to identify the elements in that particle. The Thermo Scientific Phenom Perception GSR Desktop SEM is the only dedicated SEM specifically designed for gunshot residue analysis. Because the system is automated, it enables you to speed up the analysis process. With no need to change your settings each time, you can immediately focus on the task at hand.



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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.