Scanning electron microscope

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JEOL scanning electron microscope system


A microscope that uses a scanning beam of electrons to magnify images as much as 50,000 times. First sold commercially in 1965, the scanning electron microscope (SEM) has a finely focused electron beam that interacts with the sample's surface to provide images and analysis. Electrons that are ejected from the sample, called secondary electrons, are collected and translated into a picture of the sample's surface. X-rays emitted from the sample permit by energy dispersive analysis to characterize and map the concentration of elements that are present.

Synonyms and Related Terms

SEM; microscope électronique à balayage (Fr.); MEB (Fr;); Rasterelektronenmicroscop (Deut.); microscopia electronica de varrimento (Port.)


  • M. Schreiner, M. Melcher, K. Uhlir, Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive analysis: applications in the field of cultural heritage, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (February 2007) Vol 387, 3, pp 737-747

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