Scanning electron microscopy modern technology in laboratory use

Our laboratory is equipped with three high-performance Hitachi scanning electron microscopes. With the use of our scanning electron microscopes, the Hitachi SU3500 and the Hitachi SU5000, microscopic images in finest resolution are possible for a wide range of samples.

Biological material, arisings as well as modern materials can be examined with our high-precision scanning electron microscopes (SEMs). Our most modern "flagship", the Hitachi SU5000 , is an almost universally applicable scanning electron microscope with which we achieve excellent image sharpness even for the smallest samples.

It offers a spatial resolution of up to 3.0 nm at 15 kV. Images can be magnified up to a maximum of 30 to 1 ,50 0,000x (screen).

Depending on the application, we use the Hitachi SU 3500 with high image sharpness from 10 nm image resolution at 5 kV (BSE/high vacuum method) up to 15 nm at 1 kV image resolution (BS/high vacuum method). It allows magnifications up to max. from 7 to 800,000x (screen).

The following resolutions are possible on all our REM units:

  • Standard resolution 640x480 pixels / file size for JPG approx 0.15 MB
  • Low HD resolution 1280x960 pixels / file size with JPG approx 0.3 MB
  • Medium HD resolution 2560x1920 pixels / file size with JPG approx 0.8 MB
  • High HD resolution 5120x3840 pixels / file size with JPG approx 2.5 MB

In addition, we have the possibility to produce high-resolution images with an even larger image size at the same magnification using the ZigZag capture function. Here, individual elements on the sample are precisely approached by the microscope control, images are taken and digitally se amlessly assembled.

With our Hitachi scanning electron microscopes it is possible to work simultaneously with several high-performance scanning electron microscopes. In this way we can examine your pollutant samples in a very time efficient way in order to provide you with precise analysis results.

Scanning electron microscopy
With the scanning electron microscope (SEM) it is possible to break down the surface structure by "scanning" the samples. The device scans the material to be examined schematically with the emitted electron beam. The reflection of the electrons produces characteristic structures that can be recognized as "patterns".

The advantages of using the SEM are the same micro-resolution as in energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis with smallest samples down to µm3 size. Both finest microscopic structures of the material or images of the surface structure can be obtained by means of different degrees of re solution.

Some examples are shown as high resolution images with the following illustrations.

High resolution images with our scanning electron microscopes:

Chrysotile asbestos in a putty

Resolution: 3000x (1280x960px)


Fibre cement

Resolution: 1000x (1280x960px)
Using the ZigZag capture function, an image was assembled from 25 individual images at 1000x magnification.


REM image 1: Amosite (brown asbestos)

Magnesium chain silicates in iron rich amphiboles

Occurrence: e.g. South Africa
Recording: Recording: 50 μm + device


REM image 3: Tremolite

Chain silicates of the calcium amphibole

Occurrence: in talc slates  dolomitic limestones, among others Switzerland 
Recording: 50 μm + device


Weave pattern 2 - image with scanning electron microscope

Knot - image with scanning electron microscope

I hear exactly - picture with scanning electron microscope

Where is the other? - Picture with scanning electron microscope

K1 - Scanning electron microscope image

Chrysotile fibres on a filter

Resolution: 10000x (1280x960px)


Chrysotile fibres in Asbestos cement

Resolution: 450x (1280x960px)


REM image 2: Chrysotile (white asbestos)

Layered silicate from the serpentine group

Occurrence : e.g. Bavaria
Recording: 40 μm + device


weave pattern 1 - image with scanning electron microscope

Hole in the net - image with scanning electron microscope

In a row - picture with scanning electron microscope

weave pattern 3 - image with scanning electron microscope

weave pattern 4 - image with scanning electron microscope

Element distribution of a salt crystal

Taken with EDX-Mapping