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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!

The benefits of low kV imaging include:

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

It's time to give it a try!



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