Innovators In Electron Microscopy

Meet the Innovators

Innovators with different backgrounds discuss how their users and their organization have benefitted from owning a ZEISS field-emission scanning electron microscope. Each innovator has a unique amount of ZEISS SEM imaging and analytics experience and each one has improved the quality of their research by using our Gemini technology.  Explore the success of FE-SEM owners and users from different backgrounds and experience levels by clicking on the videos and profiles below.

Dr. Malcolm Thomas

Electron Microscopy Facility Manager
Cornell Center for Materials Research
Materials Science and Electron Microscopy
21 Years ZEISS-Specific EM Experience

Dr. Soumitra Ghoshroy

Director, Electron Microscopy Center
University of South Carolina
Plant Physiology
12 Years ZEISS-Specific EM Experience

Emma Bullock

Electron Microprobe Lab Manager
Earth & Planets Laboratory Carnegie
Institute for Science, Geochemistry and Meteoritics
6 Years ZEISS-Specific EM Experience

Kennedy Nguyen

Electron Microscopy Facility Manager
University of California Merced
Materials Science and Electron Microscopy
3 Years ZEISS-Specific EM Experience

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Can you correctly guess the microscope image you are seeing?

Grain surface dislocations on a sample of steel

The technique is known as  electron channeling contrast imaging  (ECCI), and this particular image was obtained using a GeminiSEM. Dr. Sato Kaoru has used this electron microscopy technique (and many others) when characterizing manufactured steel. Learn more here on various techniques to obtain high impact electron microscope images:  The Impact of Advanced SEM on Materials Characterization Webinar

A micrograph of chitin, a natural polysaccharide network

Chitin is the second most abundant polysaccharide in nature and can be found in the exoskeletons of crustaceans and mollusks. The micrograph was obtained on a GeminiSEM at the University of California, Merced. Kennedy Nguyen, the Manager of the Imaging and Microscopy Facility at UC Merced helps researchers capture the images required for high impact research. He is an  Innovator in SEM, and has shared how his high-resolution FE-SEM has advanced the quality of research at his university. Listen to and read about his insights  here.

A digital image correlation (DIC) analysis measuring microscopic deformation on steel

The underlying image comes from an integrated  in situ  stage, where deformation and imaging happens simultaneously. In fact, tensile testing, heating, imaging, and analytics such as EBSD and EDS can be performed simultaneously. Serial images can be converted to videos to show step-by-step deformation. In this image, feature tracking allows for localized strain determination. Imaging, overlay, and DIC was performed with the ZEISS integrated  in situ  stage, available on our field emission SEM instruments. Watch our presentation given at the International Conference on Processing & Manufacturing of Advanced Materials (THERMEC) 2021 on these capabilities  here.

Nanoscale structures of a butterfly wing

This is being performed at a high magnification in high vacuum – traditionally very difficult on biological samples. This challenge is overcome by using a low kV accelerating voltage (1 kV here). On the GeminiSEM you don’t need to compromise resolution and flexibility on a charging sample. This image was obtained at the Cornell Center for Materials Research with the help of Malcolm Thomas. Malcolm is an  Innovator in SEM, teaching users with a variety of backgrounds how to get the most out of their time at the FE-SEM. Learn more about the importance of low kV imaging and analytics  here.

This is micrograph of a lead-treated plant

It was obtained at the University of South Carolina on a GeminiSEM.  Without lead treatment, there are pores easily visible on the surface. However, this treatment severely damages the surface and injures the plant. Soumitra is the Director of the Electron Microscopy Center at USC and an  Innovator in SEM. Check out the latest GeminiSEM releases  here  to learn more about latest electron column technology.

A CM chondrite, a class of meteorites that comes from primitive asteroids

These asteroids could have been originally made up of little bits of silicate, metal, ices, and organic material. These asteroids may not have gotten hot enough to melt, but they did at least get warm enough that the ices melted, and the water reacted with the existing minerals to form new ones. This image was taken by Dr. Emma Bullock at the Earth & Planets Lab. Emma is an  Innovator in SEM, helping users to collect data on samples as varied as high-pressure experimental run products, new materials, and more. Check out more chemical analysis and geoscience work on ZEISS instruments  here  and  here.  

An electrical probing technique known as electron beam induced current (EBIC)

The sample is a 7 nm SRAM device. This technique allows pFET and nFET junction health observation. The electron beam induces a current within the sample, which can be read through a probe – the location and amount of current can be measured and imaged. The work illustrated here resulted in the best paper award at the IEEE Symposium on the Physical and Failure Analysis of Integrated Circuits (IPFA) 2021. Watch the presentation  here. Learn more about GeminiSEM and nanoprobing techniques  here.

Shown here is Type-I magnetic contrast

It is generated by the deflection of secondary electrons by the sample’s intrinsic magnetic fields. The GeminiSEM lens does not apply an external magnetic field to the sample strong enough to cancel this deflection; therefore domain imaging is possible. To obtain high resolution, one does not require an immersion lens or sample biasing, allowing for imaging of many samples in their native state. More magnetic sample imaging can be seen  here.

The sample is a 65 nm technology node graphics process integrated circuit

It has been stripped to its silicon substrate with HF acid etching. The image was acquired with the  MultiSEM  506 at 4 nm pixel size, covering a hexagonal field of view of 165 x 143 mm. The MultiSEM utilizes 61 or 91 parallel electron beams, which descend onto the sample and acquire an image. This area was acquired in  1.4 seconds. Check out other examples of large area imaging with ZEISS FE-SEM  here  and learn more about MultiSEM at our  ISTFA booth.  

An image of a non-conductive natural fiber, coated with silver nanoparticles

Silver nanoparticles are well known to be antimicrobial and have been coated on various substrates in the past. Size, morphology and adhesion, among other factors, are important to observe. The natural fibers are very insulating. One way to image insulating samples is to use variable pressure (VP). On the GeminiSEM NanoVP Mode is possible, which increases the chamber pressure during imaging. In NanoVP the beam gas path length (BGPL) is drastically reduced, to keep the objective lens itself in high vacuum while the sample is being exposed to gas. This overcomes the challenges in imaging incredibly insulating samples and performing analytical techniques. As you can see, the silver nanoparticles are clearly resolved and distinguished from the fiber substrate. Learn more about our VP capabilities  here.


Sample: courtesy of F. Simon, Leibniz-Institute for Polymer Research Dresden e.V., Germany.

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FIB-SEM for High Throughput 3D Analysis and Sample Preparation​

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Various high-resolution microscopes Anonymous Response

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