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High-resolution transmission electron microscope (hrtem)

There are high-resolution TEM (HRTEM) which have been built. In fact the resolution is sufficient to show carbon atoms in diamond separated by only 89 picometers and atoms in silicon at 78 picometers. This is at magnifications of 50 million times. The ability to determine the positions of atoms within materials has made the HRTEM a very useful tool for nano-technologies research. It is also very important for the development of semiconductor devices for electronics and photonics.

Transmission electron microscopes produce two-dimensional images.

Scanning electron microscope (sem)

The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) produces images by hitting the target with a primary electron beam which then excites the surface of the target. This causes secondary electrons to be emitted from the surface which are then detected. So the electron beam in the SEM is moved (or scanned) across the sample, while detectors build an image from the secondary electrons.

Generally, the transmission electron microscope's resolution is about an order of magnitude better than the SEM resolution. However, because the SEM image relies on surface processes rather than transmission it is able to image bulk samples (unlike optical microscopes and TEM which require the samples to be thin) and has a much greater depth of view, and so can produce images that are a good representation of the 3D structure of the sample.

Disadvantages of an electron microscope

Electron microscopes are expensive to buy and maintain. They are also very sensitive to vibration and external magnetic fields. This means that special facilities are required to house microscopes aimed at achieving high resolutions. Also the targets have to be viewed in vacuum, as the electrons would scatter off the molecules that make up air.

Scanning electron microscope (sem)

Scanning electron microscopes usually image conductive or semi-conductive materials best. A common preparation technique is to coat the target with a several-nanometer layer of conductive material, such as gold, from a sputtering machine; however this process has the potential to disturb delicate samples.

The targets have to be prepared in many ways to give proper detail. This may result in artifacts purely as a result of the treatment. This gives the problem of distinguishing artifacts from material, particularly in biological samples. Scientists maintain that the results from various preparation techniques have been compared, and as there is no reason that they should all produce similar artifacts, it is therefore reasonable to believe that electron microscopy features correlate with living cells.

Interesting fact

The first electron microscope prototype was built in 1931 by the German engineers Ernst Ruska and Max Knoll. It was based on the ideas and discoveries of Louis de Broglie. Although it was primitive and was not ideal for practical use, the instrument was still capable of magnifying objects by four hundred times. The first practical electron microscope was built at the University of Toronto in 1938, by Eli Franklin Burton and students Cecil Hall, James Hillier and Albert Prebus.

Although modern electron microscopes can magnify objects up to two million times, they are still based upon Ruska's prototype and his correlation between wavelength and resolution. The electron microscope is an integral part of many laboratories. Researchers use it to examine biological materials (such as microorganisms and cells), a variety of large molecules, medical biopsy samples, metals and crystalline structures, and the characteristics of various surfaces.

Uses of electron microscopes

Electron microscopes can be used to study:

  • the topography of an object - how its surface looks.
  • the morphology of particles making up an object - their shapes and sizes.
  • the composition of an object - the elements and compounds that the object is composed of and the relative amounts of them.
  • the crystallographic information for crystalline samples - how the atoms are arranged in the object.

End of chapter exercises

  1. If the following particles have the same velocity, which has the shortest wavelength: electron, hydrogen atom, lead atom?
  2. A bullet weighing 30 g is fired at a velocity of 500 m · s - 1 . What is its wavelength?
  3. Calculate the wavelength of an electron which has a kinetic energy of 1 . 602 × 10 - 19  J.
  4. If the wavelength of an electron is 10 - 9  m what is its velocity?
  5. Considering how one calculates wavelength using slits, try to explain why we would not be able to physically observe diffraction of the cricket ball in the first worked example.

Questions & Answers

Is the normal force always 0
Mpilo Reply
no. newtons 3rd law states that if something exerts a force into something else it will experience that same magnitude of force but in the opposite direction. so the net force is equal to the force the object applies to the surface but in the opposite direction
define the term rate of reaction in word
David Reply
I think it a chemical process in which substance act mutually on each other.
how many bones are in the human body?
it's the rate at which the reactants are able to change to products
what is wave lengh
mama Reply
is the de broglie wavelength of the particle
calcium and magnesium, which one can displace aluminum from its compound?
Markia Reply
how is aluminum ion formed?
a substance that has the lower electronegativity which will be in this case the Ca -1.0 this is because the Ca would have a lower ionization energy -needs less energy to fill its outer most shell and therefore will cause a displacement of the Al
an Al ion would form when it has lost electrons and will normally be a cation -positively charged (3+)
molecules with the same molecular formula but different chain
Malaza Reply
what will be the answer
chain isomer
what does the newton's law says?
there are 3 newtons laws which are newton's law of universal gravitation, law of cooling, law of motion
Did the feather or leaf hit the ground first?
Shaloom Reply
both at the same time. air friction ignored
2 to 30 minut long distance race 20 km what's the avarage speed for the race
Jamilla Reply
what is meaning of covalent bonds
Lungani Reply
bonds that exists between non metal atoms. each atom contribute electron(s) which will form a bond joining the two atoms. electrons in the bond now belongs to both atoms
how do we name haloalkanes
Thobeka Reply
how do we name haloalkanes
what are examples of haloalkanes
haloalkanes are compounds that consist of the halogen group chlorine bromine flourine and so on like 2-bromobutan
give an example of calculating work
Nwabisa Reply
what is chain Isomer?
Christian Reply
chain isomer ar compounds with the same molecular formular but different chain length
Where does the functional group of ketone in carbons belong
Keletso Reply
how can I find the structural formulae and IUPAC names of hexane?
Matshidiso Reply
@Matshidiso identify your compound which is an alkane..the general formula for alkane is CnH2n+2... hex-6 substitute n with 6 implying that you'll have 6 carbons and 14 Hydrogens then you can draw your structural formula *NB* every carbon has to have 4 bonds
what are disadvantages of primary cells and advantage of secondary cells?
Thabang Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 12 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11244/1.2
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