MERLIN Scanning Electron Microscope

MERLIN for Materials

Analytical power for the sub-nanometer world

From Imaging to Your Complete Lab: Analytical Power for the Sub-Nanometer World

MERLIN with the GEMINI II column combines ultra fast analytics, high resolution imaging using advanced detection modes, and future assured configuration flexibility on one single system.

Thanks to the prealigned GEMINI II optics imaging setting such as voltage or probe current can be seamlessly adjusted across orders of magnitudes to match your application and sample with next to no need for realignment. Even novice users will enjoy optimum results. System optimization for high current density, probe currents up to 300 nA, and superior resolution at high beam currents, guarantees fast results in nano-analytics.

Receive maximum information from your sample with parallel on-axis in-lens secondary electron (SE) and energy selective backscattered (EsB) detection capable of identifying smallest differences in materials composition.

Thanks its modular chamber design, over 15 ports, and a wealth of application specific modules including atomic force microscopy (AFM), in-situ ultra microtomy, large area mapping, and local charge compensation for convenient imaging of non-conductive samples your MERLIN comes with the built in flexibility to grow with your applications from a scanning electron microscope to a comprehensive nano-characterization laboratory.



up to 0.6nm (STEM mode)
Probe current
up to 300nA
Acceleration voltage
20V to 30 kV
Detection Modes (selection)
In-lens (SE)
on-axis in-lens secondary electron detection
In-lens (EsB)
on-axis in-lens energy selective backscattered detection for advanced materials contrasts; parallel in-lens SE and EsB imaging
Angle selective backscattered Detector (AsB)
For crystallographic contrasts.
3DSM For real time 3D surface topography visualization.
STEM Low voltage optimized bright field, 4 quadrant dark field, and high angular dark field transmission imaging.
Application Modules (selection)  
ATLAS large area mapping For mapping large samples areas.
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) Extending your SEM to resolve single atomic layers and to investigate surface magnetism or local conductivity.
Local charge compensation Image non-conducting samples without any compromises in detection.
3View In-situ ultra-microtome to achieve 3D reconstructions of large volumes of soft matter.


As Versatile as Your Applications

Gain insights into nano materials, semiconductor samples, minerals, steels or alloys - a range of application specific options is available for you:

  • Use SEM/AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) Hybrid option and get information on your semiconductor and nano materials samples at atomic resolution.
  • Map large samples areas for design verification of semiconductor structures with the ATLAS large area mapping module.
  • Explore non-conducting samples such as minerals, ceramics, glass and polymers with no compromises in beam voltage, detection and analytics thanks to the charge compensation by localized variable pressure.
  • Conveniently comprehend the topography and surface roughness of MEMS devices, nano structures, indentations for hardness measurements, or scratch marks in forensic investigations with real time 3DSM imaging module.
  • Image magnetic samples with no image distortions thanks to unique GEMINI lens design.
  • Add the ultra-microtome 3View to achieve 3D reconstructions of large volumes of soft matter.



Image of high insulating fiber with charge compensation by localized variable pressure.

EsB Detection

The performance of modern materials, nanocomposits, polymers, high strength steels and semiconductor structures critically depends on smallest compositional details. The MERLIN complete detection system with the energy selective backscattered (EsB) on axis detection is ideally suited to reveal these compositional details. Thanks to energy filtering changes in the low loss regime of the backscattered electrons, which is sensitive to materials compounds and their derivates and phases, can be differentiated. The unique symmetrical on-axis design assures next to no need for realignment when operating parameters change.

For comprehensive sample characterization signal from other detectors, such as the in-lens secondary detector, can be recorded and displayed in parallel.


Image of three modifications of carbon by low loss EsB detection: amorphous carbon dark, diamond dark gray, graphite light gray

Image of three modifications of carbon by low loss EsB detection: amorphous carbon dark, diamond dark gray, graphite light gray


ZEISS Atlas 5 – Master Your Multi-scale Challenge

Atlas 5 makes your life easier: create comprehensive multi-scale, multi-modal images with a sample-centric correlative environment. Atlas 5 is the powerful yet intuitive hardware and software package that extends the capacity of your scanning electron microscope.

read more

3D Surface Modelling – 3DSM

Your scanning electron microscope measures and analyzes all kinds of samples in 2D: to analyze the surfaces of samples in 3D, use the system extension 3DSM. 3DSM, the computer-based application from ZEISS, provides you with topographical information by reconstructing a complete 3D model of the surface from SEM's AsB-Detector signals.

read more

Visualization and Analysis Software

Visualization and Analysis Software

ZEISS recommends Dragonfly Pro from Object Research Systems (ORS)

An advanced analysis and visualization software solution for your 3D data acquired by a variety of technologies including X-ray, FIB-SEM, SEM and helium ion microscopy.
Formerly Visual SI Advanced, Dragonfly Pro delivers high-definition visualization techniques and industry-leading graphics. Dragonfly Pro supports customization through easy to use Python scripting. Users now have total control of their 3D data post-processing environment and workflows.



Watch the Product Trailer


ZEISS Merlin

From Imaging to Your Complete Lab: Analytical Power for the Sub-Nanometer World

Pages: 14
Filesize: 3,201 kB

White Paper: Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD)

of nonconductive samples using in-situ charge compensation

Pages: 7
Filesize: 2,931 kB

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