Scanning Electron Microscope - Agilent 8500 FE-SEM

The Agilent 8500 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope FE-SEM is a compact system that offers researchers a field emission scanning electron microscope that is easy to use and does not require special facilities. This innovative Agilent Technologies solution has been optimized for low-voltage imaging, extremely high surface contrast, and resolution typically found only in much larger and more expensive field emission microscopes.

About the size of a laser printer, the 8500 FE-SEM provides convenient plug-and-play performance. No dedicated facilities are required, only an AC power outlet. The novel scientific-grade system offers several imaging techniques for enhancing surface contrast and allowing nanoscale features to be observed on a wide variety of nanostructured materials, including polymers, thin films, biomaterials, and other energy-sensitive samples on any substrate, even glass.

The 8500 FE-SEM eliminates charging of nonconductive samples and the need for sample coating, which can mask nanoscale features, as well as the need to resort to increased pressure operation, which can degrade resolution. Continuously variable imaging voltage is tunable from 500 to 2000 volts as an operational parameter, rather than a setup choice. Furthermore, the system uses a four-segment microchannel plate detector that provides topographic imaging along two orthogonal directions to enhance surface detail. This technique has been demonstrated to clearly resolve sub-nanometer atomic steps on the surface of crystalline substances such as polytype 6H-SiC.

Key features of the 8500 FE-SEM include:

  • Miniature electrostatic electron beam column with thermal field emission electron source
  • Compact FE-SEM system size roughly equivalent to that of a typical laser printer
  • Simple plug-and-play installation, only AC power outlet needed.
  • Continuously variable low voltage eliminates charging and the need for sample coating
  • Programmable X-Y-Z stage allows user to set precise coordinates, scan, and save info
  • Electrostatic lens design ensures repeatable performance without constant re-tuning

Performance capabilities of the 8500 FE-SEM are as follows::

  • Resolution and imaging equal to that of conventional FE-SEMs
  • Observe nanoscale features on nanostructured materials on any substrate, even glass
  • Ideal for polymers, thin films, biomaterials, and other energy-sensitive samples
  • High signal-to-noise ratios and consistent, long-lasting performance
  • Secondary and backscatter electron detection help provide a rich data set for each sample
  • Ability to store and return to any operating setup immediately with negligible fine adjustment
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