Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)

Group Leader

Dr. Christina Günter

+49 331 977 5605
+49 331 977 5700
Arbeitsgruppenbild Allgemeine Geologie


A scanning electron microscope (SEM) is designed for fast analytical and micro-morphological investigation of surfaces.

The spatial resolution of a SEM covers the range between those of a light microscope and a transmission electron microscope, with our instrument down to 3 nm (30 kV). With a large focal depth, the SEM allows for needle-sharp photographs of smooth and rough surfaces. A back-scattered electron detector displays compositional variation of light and heavy elements across the imaging area. An energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) attached to the instrumentation provides quantitative elemental analysis of single spots, line scans and area scans as well as element distribution maps.


SEM: JEOL JSM-6510 (W filament, 0.5–30 kV acceleration voltage)

EDS: Oxford Instruments INCAx-act

Sample Requirements

  • maximum sample size: 32 mm in diameter full coverage
  • vacuum stable (non-degassing)
  • polished and unpolished
  • electrically conductive
  • for electrically non-conducting samples, two sample coaters are available:
    • C-coater: POLARON CC7650 Carbon Coater
    • Au/Pd-coater: POLARON SC7620 Mini Sputter Coater