SEM Tutorial

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This is a page intended to serve as a general introduction to scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

Although everything here is accurate, most material covered here is covered at a superficial level. For more in-depth coverage, I would recommend Goldstein, et al.: Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis, 2nd. Edition. My pages here are aimed at a rather low level, so please don't take this as a course in itself, but rather as an introduction so the casual student can begin to get an idea of the basics of SEM, and a beginner can learn enough to begin the actual learning. It is for the latter, (or even the more curious casual visitor) I recommend Goldstein, et al. The primary purpose of this page is to reduce my introductory level teaching load.

On to the tutorial...


SEM Components Overview

(What are the big parts?)


SEM Image Formation

(How does that pile of stuff act as a microscope?)


SEM Components Details (Detectors, etc)

(Most of the little parts)


Contrast Mechanisms

(The wherebys of seeing stuff in the 'scope)


Generic SEM Operation (LAST for a VERY good reason!)

(Loading samples and the basic alignment and such common to all SEMs)

Photo of the scanning electron microscopy main components (SEM)
Photo of the scanning electron microscopy main detector (SEM)

Tips, hints, and how-tos:

Sample Holder Vices

How to do ECCI

Other Microscopy Resources:

Investigate the Microscopy Society for America