Scanning Electron Microscope

The Phenom XL Desktop SEM, supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1919563, is located in Room C816A.

The Scanning Electron Microscope in Use
Image: The SEM is used to characterize wool coated with gold nanoparticles. 

The Phenom XL SEM is a versatile variable-pressure benchtop SEM with a CeB6 electron source, and electron and X-ray detectors 

  • A Secondary Electron Detector (SED) for imaging surface topography
  • BackScattered Electron Detector (BSED) for imaging with topography and compositional contrast (electron density contrast).
    This detector is especially useful for samples that cannot be coated. A gold coater is available at FIT if needed.
  • Energy Dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy for characterization of elemental compositions. Elemental composition profiles can be carried out at a point, line or area on the material under analysis.
  • Maximum sample size 100mm x 100mm x 65mm or 36 1/2" stubs per sample holder. 
  • Variable pressure (high, medium and low) and electron voltage (5kV, 10kV and 15kV).

Uses of this SEM include characterizations of biomaterials and engineered textiles, nanocoatings, and ancient pigments. It will also be used in an electron beam-matter interaction research project.

The SEM will be integrated in various STEM courses, to support and train future curators in collaboration with the museum at FIT, and enhance science exposures through collaborations in art, fashion and design. 

For further information and access of this equipment, please contact [email protected]
Principal Investigator: Dr. Deborah Berhanu
Co-principal Investigator: Dr. Karen R. Pearson