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Some Thoughts on Why You Want to Use Low kV Imaging

What makes the difference between a good SEM image and a stellar one? Imaging samples at the appropriate conditions, and that often means at very low accelerating voltage (low kV). It's time to give it a try!

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Some Thoughts on Why You Want to Use Low kV Imaging

Some Thoughts on Why You Want to Use Low kV Imaging
What makes the difference between a good SEM image and a stellar one? Imaging samples at the appropriate conditions, and that often means at very low accelerating voltage (low kV). It's time to give it a try!

The benefits of low kV imaging include:

  • There is less sample damage especially on biological or polymer samples,
  • Nonconductive samples can be imaged without the need to apply a conductive metal or C coating which can totally obscure surface information,
  • Thin or nanoscale surface structures that may be invisible due to beam penetration at high kV (surface sensitivity) are now easily visualized,
  • The edge effect artifact which washes out edge, corner and surface contrast is dramatically reduced due to the small excitation volume,
  • Low kV also improves EDS and WDS spatial resolution for the same reasons as it does so for BSE imaging.

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