Viewing the specimen in the SEM

The Scanning Electron Microscope works different - how to view the specimen:

Variable Pressure SEM

Martin Pueschel © Australian Museum

1. Images that we see:

The SEM has a monitor from which we as the operators view the specimen. The image is derived from the detection of excited electrons that are being bounced off the gold specimen at varying speeds and signals. The two detectors pick up the electron signals and via an analog/ digitising process the image is viewed on a monitor screen, captured and stored as a digital image (varying resolutions) on the computer’s hard drive.

2. Black and White images

Electron microscopes can only be viewed in black and white. This is because the electrons that are detected do not have a colour spectrum like that of the incandescent light in light microscopes. The only way to colour the derived SEM images is to computer generate pseudo colour images via imaging packages.




Mr Martin Pueschel , Scientific Illustrator
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