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By Weilie Zhou

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4. Summary This chapter gives a quick review of fundamentals of scanning electron microscopy using the nanomaterials as examples. It can help SEM users and nanomaterials researchers to master the basic techniques to study nanomaterials in a short time. With the understanding of the basics and knowing the configurations of the microscope, users can easily learn other advanced techniques in this book, such as BSE, advanced x-ray analysis, low voltage imaging, e-beam lithography, focused ion beam, and scanning transmission electron microscopy.

In this technique, a database of possible phases is used to index the patterns, with the unknown phase being considered identified as the phase from the database that best fits the experimental pattern. Filtering of the database using chemistry and d-spacing is often used to reduce the number of candidate phases to a reasonable number on which to run the indexing algorithm. Jarle Hjelen, Trondheim, Norway, created many camera designs over these years increasing in sensitivity and speed. Combining his cameras and Schmidt’s software, HKL became a key supplier of EBSD systems especially to the geological sciences community who required the low-symmetry indexing algorithms of Schmidt for their mineral studies.

Since the beginning of biological SEM, precious metals were evaporated onto the specimen in order to render the specimen conductive. Such metals produced conductive specimens, but the heat of vaporization leads to hot metals impinging into the sample surface. Sputter coating these metals (gold, silver, gold/palladium, and platinum) in an argon atmosphere reduced bioorganic specimen surface damage, but still lead to structural decoration with large grain uneven film thicknesses. Precious metals are not suitable for 36 Weilie Zhou et al.

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