Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDX)
CMCA(UK) has two scanning electron microscopes (SEM) located within our lab facilities at our headquarters in Worcester. Our highly skilled technicians use the SEM to produce very high magnification images of samples that have been supplied by our customers, to assist them with their investigative work.
The SEM is a type of electron microscope, producing images by scanning a surface with a focused beam of electrons. Electrons interact with atoms in the sample and produce signals containing information about the surface topography and composition. This is useful in many applications as the SEM resolves details beyond that of a light microscope. For instance, measuring plating thickness when less than 10 microns, or direct imaging of a welded part to observe the metallurgical bond and fine-structure of the material. A wide variety of artificial and natural materials can be imaged easily using a SEM.
Applications are almost unlimited and include:
• Powder (morphology analysis, composition analysis)
• Materials (plating, welds, inspection, additive manufacturing)
• Biological imaging
Imaging with the SEM has a side effect, stimulating the emission of characteristic X-rays from specimens, allowing graphical representation on the element make-up in a sample.
Spectrum analysis with EDX can be utilised for quantifying percentage composition of elements in a sample.