The XL30 ESEM-FEG can produce high resolution secondary electron images (SEI) at pressures as high as 10 Torr, so moist or non-conductive samples can be examined in their natural state.

Flye eye ESEMThe main benefit of the ESEM-FEG is that a high vacuum is not required in the microscope chamber. This is achieved by separating the vacuum environment in the microscope chamber from the high vacuum environment in the column and field electron gun (FEG) source area. Two pressure-limiting apertures (PLAs) separate the microscope chamber from the FEG column. The three regions created by these PLAs are separately pumped. This creates a graduated vacuum from 10 Torr in the chamber (above the vapour pressure of water) to 10-8 Torr in the middle region of the column down to 10-10 Torr in the emission chamber.

A Rontec Quantax, thin window EDX system is attached to the ESEM and this allows detection of elements with atomic masses upwards of 12 (carbon).

An hkl EBSD system is available on the ESEM, which with good sample preparation and time can give reasonable phase and crystal orientation data. The success of EBSD analysis is dependent on sample preparation: smooth, flat, surfaces should be used which, if they have been sectioned, will require electro-polishing or colloidal silica polishing to remove surface damage.

We do not recommend that you attempt EBSD analysis unless you have appropriately prepared samples and also have the time to develop the method to suit your material.

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