Electron Microscopy

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

To solve materials science and biological applications problems, Analytical Services, Inc.’s (ASI) experienced microscopists count, size, fingerprint, and map samples. ASI has worked with clients from the biotech, semiconductor, specialty filament and other industries. 

We offer rapid, reliable answers through particle size counting, environmental samples, process control, materials analysis, signature analysis, and contaminant identification through a network of affiliated EM laboratories. ASI can provide data interpretation services, as well as black and white photomicrographs, spectral data, and x-ray mapping printouts of your samples. 

Presently, ASI concentrates in-house SEM analyses on performing the ASI Direct Count Method for enumeration of particulates and bacteria in ultrapure water samples, typically performed as part of the rigorous quality control required in semiconductor and other industries. 

Imaging and Spectroscopy Services

  • Secondary Electron Imaging (SEI)
    Low energy secondary electrons, provide high-resolution  photomicrographs of the surface features of samples ranging in diameter from submicron to several millimeters.
  • Backscattered Electron Imaging (BEI)
    Elemental anomalies in samples can be identified by BEI. Atomic contrast allows visualization of the relative concentrations of different elements in a sample.
  • Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS)
    EDS generates an elemental profile of a sample or section of a sample by spectral resolution. This documents the presence or absence of specific elements in the sample.
  • Advanced Image Analysis
    Once an anomaly has been located by BEI, EDS can be performed on that section of the sample and the resulting data plotted on an SEI photomicrograph. This technique is called Advanced Image Analysis.
  • Specialized Sample Preparation
    Samples of almost any matrix can be prepared for SEM/EDS. This capability, along with our specialized equipment (large stage opening, high tilt angle, etc.) allows us to process a wide variety of samples for any combination of the above services.
  • Particle Sizing and Counting
    We count and size particles (inorganic and microbiological) using proprietary and industry standard protocols.
  • Bacterial Enumeration
    We developed and published the SEM Direct Count Method for particulate and bacterial enumeration.

Typical Materials Analyzed Include

  • Ceramics
  • Computer chips
  • Filters
  • Membranes
  • Metals & Alloys
  • Paper
  • Particulates in Water and Air
  • Sediments
  • Soils

Equipment

  • JEOL JSM840A Scanning Electron Microscope
  • Kevex Delta Class Quantum Microanalyzer with Si(Li) Light Element Detector
  • Automatic Stage for Image Analysis
  • Class 100 Clean Hood