The Phenom Providing Accurate Information about Fibers - Application Note by Phenom-World

Topics Covered

Introduction
Fiber Classification Using The Phenom
General Construction
Diameter
Morphology

Introduction

The Phenom is a new tabletop scanning electron microscope (SEM) which combines the high magnification of electron microscopy with the ease of use of optical microscopy to improve performance in a tabletop instrument.

The Phenom, a tabletop SEM provides useful magnifications up to 20,000x, is easy to use as the typical laboratory-grade optical microscopes. The Phenom cuts away the time, difficulty, and expense of the conventional SEM. The operator simply places the sample in the specially designed holder on the microscope. Due to its unique design there is no risk of damaging the lens. The automatically focused image is displayed in less than 30 seconds later, with the resolution and depth of focus typical belonging to SEMs.

Figure 1. Phenom Desktop SEM

Fiber Classification Using The Phenom

Fibers play an important part in everyday materials and cutting edge research. The Phenom has been used to investigate several different cutting edge applications in industries covering filtration, medical equipment, insulation, aerospace, and nanotechnology. The Phenom provides accurate information about fibers like general construction, diameter, and surface morphology.

General Construction

The ability to observe general construction reveals information about fiber interaction, density, and count. Failure analysis of carbon fibers like the one found in Figure 2 can help researchers improve the construction of their design to yield a stronger and lighter product.

Figure 2. Fractured edge of a multilayered carbon fiber sample

Figure 3. Elastic fibers embedded in nylon

Diameter

Fiber diameters can range from the micron to the nano scale. The diameters of fibers can help forensics scientists identify crime scene evidence (figure 4) as well as provide a quality control measurement for high-tech filtration devices (figure 5)

Figure 4. A hair's diameter and scale pattern can help crime scene investigators identify evidence in a forensics setting. The hair above is human and approximately 60µm in diameter.

Figure 5. The Phenom can be used to view and measure fibers at the nano-scale. This image shows fibers found in a cutting edge filtration system. This image was taken at the Phenom's peak magnification range and depicts fibers as thin as 50 nm in diameter.

Morphology

Morphology is another characteristic that gives insight into manufacturing quality, surface roughness, and even fiber strength. The different morphologies of these fibers affect their strength, interaction volume, absorption rate, and heat resistance.

Figure 6. Industrial grade fibers magnified at 2,400-6,000x. These types of fibers are used in applications like insulation, filtration, and textiles.

Source:"Fiber Classification with the Phenom" Application Note by Phenom-World

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Date Added: Aug 19, 2008 | Updated: Jun 11, 2013
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