Frequently Asked Questions about SEM's

What is JEOL's installed base of electron microscopes in North America?

We currently have over 4,000 installed electron microscopes in North America.

Is a low-vac (LV) instrument right for me or is a high-vac (HV) the right choice?

LV SEM (low vacuum SEM) is the right choice for you if you are looking at wet, dirty, greasy, out-gassing samples that under no circumstances could be put in a conventional high vacuum SEM. It is also extremely useful for looking at non-conductive / insulating samples (in addition to the non-HV compatible samples) at high kV & high beam currents, thus allowing SE imaging, BSE imaging and elemental analysis by EDS. If your samples are clean and conductive metals, or can be coated with a conductive coating, then a conventional high vacuum SEM will satisfy your needs.

Can I look at wet samples with LV?

Yes. Come for a demo in our Peabody or Pleasanton lab or send us your samples.

What is the difference between field emission and tungsten microscopes?

Tungsten (or thermionic SEMs), use W wire filaments heated to a high temperature to emit electrons. They have a lower inherent brightness, a larger source size, and a larger energy spread, which limits their ultimate resolving power especially at lower accelerating voltages. Typical magnifications are in the 10s or 100s of times, up to 100,000x. Field emission SEMs (FEGs) use a room temperature emitter in ultra-high vacuum, which can generate an electron beam with a very small size and energy spread. FEG SEMs have very high resolution with useable magnifications up to >500,000x, and maintain high resolution even at very low accelerating voltages (<1kV). This allows for true surface imaging. FEG SEMs typically cost two to four times more than a conventional SEM.

What does Cs mean? Cc? How can JEOL help me with these problems?

Since the invention of the electron microscope over 60 years ago, the effects of aberrations in electron-magnetic lenses have imposed limits on the performance of SEMs & TEMs.

Cs stands for spherical aberration, or the uncertainty in focussing the electrons as a function of how far their trajectory is from the center of the lens. Cc stands for chromatic aberration, or the uncertainty in focus due to the energy spread and speed of electrons. JEOL offers a unique, field emission aberration corrected SEM, the JSM-7700F, designed to incorporate correction technology that has been successful in TEM instruments and now extends/improves the useful resolution of SEM.

What accessories are available?

JEOL offers the following accessories: EDS, WDS, CLD imaging/spectroscopy, BSE detectors, hot stages, cold stages, Raman spectrometers, E-beam lithography, micro manipulators, EBSD detectors.

A complete list of accessories, holders and consumable parts is also available. For microscope accessories contact your local JEOL sales rep. For consumables contact the JEOL Parts Department or your local service manager. A listing of available specimen holders can also be found on this site.

How do I order parts?

You can order parts directly by calling our Parts Department in the Peabody, MA office at 978-535-5900.

What kind of training does JEOL offer?

The JEOL Institute provides classes for SEM, TEM, Mass Spec, and NMR instrument training. The courses are designed to familiarize the new user with alignment, operating functions and applications of the instrument relevant to the user’s area of interest. The courses emphasize small class size and include lecture sessions, but the focus is “hands-on-training." Classes are offered in our Peabody, MA applications center, in our Pleasanton, CA application lab, or at your facility using your instrument.

What kind of short courses are available?

In addition to the JEOL Institute, which offers over 30 SEM training classes per year, there are several independent SEM and SEM-related short courses available. These include, but are not limited to: the Lehigh Short Course, Practical Aspects of SEM, and digital imaging and image processing courses offered in conjunction with PITTCON, M&M, and the SCANNING meetings.

What else does JEOL sell in addition to SEMs?

JEOL is a world leader in electron optical equipment and instrumentation for high-end scientific and industrial research and development. Core product groups include electron microscopes (SEMs and TEMs, EPMAs, AUGERs, SPMs), instruments for the semiconductor industry (electron beam lithography, defect review and inspection tools, FIBs, and wafer process monitors), and analytical instruments including mass spectrometers, NMRs and ESRs.

How good is the electron imaging on an JEOL electron microprobe as compared to my SEM?

The capability of the JEOL electron microprobe to produce high-resolution electron images is going to be as good or better than the SEM you are presently using. The JEOL electron microprobe is available with one of three electron sources, the traditional tungsten filament, the LaB6, or the new Schottky field emission gun.

The JEOL field emission electron microprobe (JXA-8500F) has no competitors of its kind. It is able to produce an electron beam that is one half to one tenth of the probe diameter obtained by the conventional thermal emitter (40 nm at 10 kV and 1x10-8 A), and still be able to produce very high beam currents (up to 500 nAmps). This makes it the perfect instrument for very high resolution X-ray mapping and electron imaging, and still have all the capabilities that you expect from an electron microprobe, namely stability and reproducibility.

What can I do with a JEOL electron microprobe that I can't already do with my EDS system?

An electron microprobe will greatly improve both the quality and quantity of your analyses.  You will improve your ability to resolve X-ray lines by two orders of magnitude. No longer will you be handicapped by an inability to identify the elements present in your sample because of the peak overlap problem you are now experiencing with your EDS system. You will be able to detect lower concentrations of elements, down into the 0.01 weight percent range. And, you will be able to routinely produce high quality, quantitative analyses of light elements.

You will have a count rate that is at least 10 times higher than what you are getting on your EDS system. This means far more reproducible quantitative analyses and X-ray maps in a fraction of the time. The JEOL electron microprobe is also optimized for automated operations. This makes it ideal for over-night and over-weekend runs, which equates to a dramatic increase in productivity.

Frequently Asked Questions about Surface Analysis

How good is the electron imaging on an JEOL electron microprobe as compared to my SEM?

The capability of the JEOL electron microprobe to produce high-resolution electron images is going to be as good or better than the SEM you are presently using. The JEOL electron microprobe is available with one of three electron sources, the traditional tungsten filament, the LaB6, or the new Schottky field emission gun.

The JEOL field emission electron microprobe (JXA-8500F) has no competitors of its kind. It is able to produce an electron beam that is one half to one tenth of the probe diameter obtained by the conventional thermal emitter (40 nm at 10 kV and 1x10-8 A), and still be able to produce very high beam currents (up to 500 nAmps). This makes it the perfect instrument for very high resolution X-ray mapping and electron imaging, and still have all the capabilities that you expect from an electron microprobe, namely stability and reproducibility.

What can I do with a JEOL electron microprobe that I can't already do with my EDS system?

An electron microprobe will greatly improve both the quality and quantity of your analyses. You will improve your ability to resolve X-ray lines by two orders of magnitude. No longer will you be handicapped by an inability to identify the elements present in your sample because of the peak overlap problem you are now experiencing with your EDS system. You will be able to detect lower concentrations of elements, down into the 0.01 weight percent range. And, you will be able to routinely produce high quality, quantitative analyses of light elements.

You will have a count rate that is at least 10 times higher than what you are getting on your EDS system. This means far more reproducible quantitative analyses and X-ray maps in a fraction of the time. The JEOL electron microprobe is also optimized for automated operations. This makes it ideal for over-night and over-weekend runs, which equates to a dramatic increase in productivity.