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Introducing the next generation of SEMs

We are excited to announce that we've implemented a technology refresh of our Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) capabilities at CEMAS with the installation of two new Apreo FEG SEMs. These instruments bring a wide variety of new and exciting capabilities to our facility. The new SEMs are capable of operating at voltages ranging from 30 kV, down to 200 V, and beam currents ranging from 1 pA, up to 400 nA. The microscopes are operable in both high-vac and low-vac mode, at pressures up to 500 Pa.

Apreo - The most versatile high performance SEM

Both Apreo SEMs have electrostatic and electromagnetic focusing lenses, helping achieve sub-nanometer resolutions, even on ferromagnetic samples. Our new SEMs are also capable of stage-biasing from -4000 V to +600 V, reducing electron landing energies, and enabling analysis of non-conducting samples. Both instruments are outfitted with Everhart-Thornley detectors, retractable and segmented BSE detectors, as well as the trinity suite of in-column detectors, which drastically increase our imaging capabilities. The Apreo has a retractable STEM detector, allowing analysis of TEM specimens, in the SEM. Easy and rapid analysis of multiple samples is now possible, thanks to a multi-sample stage in conjunction with a chamber-mounted optical camera, allowing the user to load multiples samples and quickly navigate from one sample to the next.

Uncoated biological sample: Real time DCFI (drift compensated frame integration) Image courtesy of FEI CompanyUncoated biological sample: Traditional scanning Image courtesy of FEI CompanyThe new microscopes have four-quadrant imaging, capable of simultaneously collecting images from four different detectors, at resolutions up to 6144 x 4096 pixels. Images may even be collected with active drift compensation, to produce high resolution images, even with charging specimens. The new mapping software is capable of automated image collection, stitching, and blending of images for high-resolution images montages that cover very large areas. One of the Apreos even has integrated pattern generation software with a gas-injection system, allowing for patterning and depositing platinum, in the SEM. Last, but certainly not least, both of these new microscopes are remotely operational in the virtual learning digital theater and beyond, allowing users at other locations to fully utilize these great, new instruments. 

These new microscopes are also outfitted with the latest in analytical equipment from EDAX. Both microscopes are equipped Pegasus systems, allowing for EDS and EBSD data to be collected simultaneously, for advanced phase mapping. The Apreos have Octane Elect 30 mm2 silicon-drift detectors, capable of output count rates of 850,000 cps, and silicon nitride windows for optimal light element detection and quantification. Additionally, these SEMs are also outfitted with Hikari EBSD cameras, capable of acquiring up to 1400 fps, for ultra-rapid orientation mapping. These detectors are aided by the latest versions of TEAM and OIM analysis software, which have many exciting new features, including NPAR and PRIAS, allowing for even more rapid orientation mapping and characterization of materials.

You can request training on the Apreos through your Facility Online Manager (FOM) account. For any questions, please feel free to contact us at