Microscopy & Microtechniques

  • Next Generation Benchtop SEM Series Launched

Next Generation Benchtop SEM Series Launched

Jan 24 2018 Read 1666 Times

In 2005 Hitachi introduced the first commercial benchtop SEM, where high quality electron microscopy could be achieved quickly and easily by any operator. The concept was rapidly adopted by industry and academia for a wide range of fields including failure analysis, quality control, materials science and life science research, with over 3700 instruments installed. The TM4000 series is the latest generation instrument and offers more advanced SEM capabilities whilst being true to the original concept, keeping usability and time-to-data at its heart.

The TM4000 offers higher resolution, higher magnification capability (up to 250,000x on-screen magnification), larger sample handling and more control over the beam/operating conditions - helping to bridge the gap between optical microscopy and conventional large SEMs. Topographical contrast (SE) and compositional contrast (BSE) can be simultaneously displayed or mixed, ensuring operators can easily get the information they need to fully understand the sample.

Insulating specimens such as ceramics or polymers can be examined with ease thanks to the variable pressure operation, which eliminates sample charging. The TM4000plus also offers a low vacuum SE detector to ensure topographical imaging can be performed in low vacuum mode, unique in this class of instrument.

An optical image navigation camera is available in combination with an integrated motorised stage – helping users to find their point of interest quickly and easily, whilst also offering the ability to correlate SEM and optical images thanks to the ‘SEM maps’ function.

Advanced chemical analysis (EDX) can be quickly and routinely achieved, including spot/line/area analysis and superfast elemental mapping, with element maps available in as a little as 10 seconds. Enhancements for automated particle/phase analysis and automated image metrology are also offered, as are 3D visualisation tools, offering tilt-free angle/depth/roughness measurements. Importantly, all these capabilities have been added whilst keeping a strong focus on simple workflow and usability, making techniques which were previously considered complex accessible to any user.

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