Succeed on Your Sigma: Imaging Strategies and Fundamentals

A ZMCC SkillBuilder Workshop

10am - 1pm PST

Workshop Overview & Agenda

This virtual workshop will cover methods and supporting theory to enable attendees to become more comfortable and competent operating their ZEISS Sigma FE-SEMs under varying conditions and sample types. Some prior SEM imaging background will be helpful but not required to attend. It is recommended that attendees secure time on their instruments after the workshop sessions to apply the shared methods on their own challenging samples. Attendees are strongly encouraged to share their images from individual sessions and interact with our Applications team through independent email threads for further optimization.

This is a three-hour online workshop streamed live from the ZEISS Sigma 360 FESEM located at the  ZEISS Microscopy Customer Center (ZMCC) in Dublin, CA. Through screen-sharing from the instrument and multiple cameras, the complete operation of the instrument will be visible as our SEM Application experts cover a the itinerary of training topics as detailed below.

Who should attend?

  • Existing users of ZEISS Sigma FESEMs (Sigma 360/560, Sigma 300/500, Sigma VP/HD/HD VP).
  • Infrequent SEM users in need of a refresh of theory and techniques related to gun and beam alignment, SE vs BSE detector imaging, sample-beam interaction, high-resolution vs high-throughput imaging techniques, and efficiency gains through customization of SmartSEM 
  • Lab managers or technicians looking to improve their own skill level to better support and/or train other users of the instrument.

Learning objectives after completion of this workshop, attendees should:

  • Benefit from reproducible results by developing protocols with ideal imaging conditions tailored to your samples.​
  • Gain an improved understanding of your sample through the correlative workspace after combining results from multiple sources (e.g. optical images, light microscopy images, and energy dispersive x-ray maps).​
  • Share results with a wider audience by exporting acquired data to simplified web browser-based viewer format.​

This is a paid workshop.​
Spots are limited.​

Preview the topics covered below and register for the workshop here


Part 1: Imaging Optimization

  • Sample Mounting and Preparation Considerations, Working Distance
  • Beam Modes (Resolution/Analytical/Fisheye), High Current Mode
  • Focus and Astigmatism, Auto-functions vs Manual Correction
  • Beam-Sample Interaction: Choosing Ideal Accelerating Voltage and Aperture Selection
  • Ideal imaging parameters in high vacuum for high resolution vs high-throughput vs analytical 
  • Utilizing different image collection conditions (line average, line scan, point, and drift correction)
  • Detectors: SE vs InLens vs BSDs – how and when to best use them

Part 2: SmartSEM Customization

  • Customizing data zone and toolbar
  • Basic macros
  • Stage Points, Center Pointing, and Horizontal Align
  • NavCam Registration and Troubleshooting
  • New user accounts and or changing permissions/Enabling stage safety limit

After the workshop sessions, the attendees are strongly encouraged to attempt the methods shown on their own systems with their own samples. Screen sharing sessions to review the data can be setup with the applications team through independent email threads. Our support team will assist in further optimization and answer any questions to help attendees acquire the best data possible.

Nathaniel Cohan Applications Engineer

Nathaniel joined the ZEISS Applications team in 2019 covering both Context and Versa XRM systems. Since 2020, he's expanded to cover SEM Applications on both the EVO C-SEM and Sigma and GeminiSEM FE-SEMs. Prior to working at ZEISS, Nate utilized electron microscopy techniques while studying protein biophysics at FSU and UCSD, and was an associate faculty of Chemistry at MiraCosta and Grossmont Colleges in San Diego. 

Register for the workshop

This workshop costs $400 per attendee. Please fill out the form below to initiate your registration, and be sure to submit your payment at the link in the automated follow-up email to finalize your registration.

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