Scanning electron microscopy

High-resolution depiction down to the smallest detail

Are you looking for experts in scanning electron microscopy?

Versatile methods for analysing your sample are available to us with scanning electron microscopy. In this way we obtain information about the surface with high magnification and a large depth of field. We use this information for the assessment of the material composition, the analysis of damage and wear, the analysis of inclusions and adhesions for the fractographic evaluation of fracture surfaces, as well as for particle analysis as per VDA 19.1/19.2.

+49 7022 2796-681

The scanning electron microscope makes it possible to look inside material samples

High-resolution view of the surface and interior of a sample

With the ZEISS Crossbeam 350 we have a high-resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM) that is also equipped with a focused ion beam (Ga-FIB) and an integrated femtosecond laser. With this microscope we obtain insights into the interior of a sample and, at the same time, can remove material locally in the smallest quantities using the ion beam to expose cross-sections directly for the SEM. In this way it is possible to depict and analyse coatings and microstructures in the nano range.

Find out more about FIB-SEM microscopy.

Fast, reliable

measurement results

  • Analysis of surface structures
  • Analysis of microstructures
  • Identification of foreign-matter inclusions
  • Verification of contamination
  • Depiction of flaws and fracture surfaces
  • Particle analysis

Applications and analysis options

Microstructure analysis of your samples

Microstructure analysis

Analysis of microstructures during research on materials for electronic components, battery and fuel cells or medical products:

  • High magnifications (20,000x)
  • Analysis of surface structures
  • Verification of adhering contamination
  • Determination of element composition (EDX analysis)
Scanning electron microscopy for analyzing damage

Damage analysis

High-resolution depiction of surfaces of samples or fracture structures as part of damage analysis:

  • Depiction sensitive to the surface or material
  • Depiction of flaws, deposits or surface anomalies
  • Depiction of fracture surfaces for the analysis of the failure mode: overload fracture or fatigue fracture
  • Depiction and analysis of corrosion damage
  • Characterisation of signs of wear

Find out more about damage analysis.

EDX analysis to determine the chemical composition

Determination of chemical composition

For the characterisation of the chemical element composition of materials and inclusions, we use energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX):

  • Identification of foreign-matter inclusions in materials
  • Verification and identification of contamination on component surfaces
  • Verification of corrosive substances on components
  • Colour depiction of the individual elements as well as their distribution on the surface
Particle analysis and classification with the SEM

Morphological and chemical analysis of particles

We analyse particles and foreign-matter inclusions for their morphological and chemical characteristics:

  • Analysis of metallic and mineral particles as well as nano particles
  • Morphological analysis of the particles l
  • Determination of the particle size as well as the particle distribution
  • Determination of the chemical element composition (EDX analysis)
  • Determination of the damage behaviour
  • Fully automatic particle analysis using Smart PI as per the standards ISO 16232 and VDA 19/19.1/19.2

Find out more about particle analysis.

Technical equipment for scanning electron microscopy

The right system
for every task

At Quality Analysis we have a total of four scanning electron microscopes from ZEISS for various applications:

SEM: Zeiss EVO MA 25 with EDX detector


We primarily use the ZEISS EVO MA 25 and EVO 15 for fully automatic particle analysis in the context of technical cleanliness verification. Both units are equipped with three different detectors as well as an EDX detector for the determination of element compositions.

SEM: Zeiss SUPRA  40 VP with EDX detector

ZEISS Supra 40 VP

We use the ultra-high-resolution scanning electron microscope ZEISS Supra 40 VP for a broad palette of applications in the area of metallography and damage analysis, semiconductor technology, medical technology, nano technology and electric mobility. This unit is equipped with four different detectors and an EDX detector for X-ray microanalysis.



The ZEISS CROSSBEAM 350 L is a field-emission scanning electron microscope with a focused ion beam and a femtosecond laser. We use this state-of-the-art, specialised unit for high-resolution imaging in the area of electronics manufacturing and the semiconductor industry.

Added value at quality analysis


You receive from us precise measurement results, even at short notice. On our sites we have both the necessary personnel as well as a large range of instruments with high-resolution microscopes.


We deliver high-resolution images and detailed reports about the characteristics of your sample. Our experts have the necessary practical experience to be able to apply even complex analytical methods appropriately.

Range of equipment

Our four scanning electron microscopes cover practically all relevant materialographic application areas enabling us to undertake all necessary analyses so we can answer your question quickly.


The accreditation of our inspection methods and measuring rooms signifies for you certainty, dependability and objectivity during the analysis of your samples, even during demanding, complex analyses.

With extensive experience and sound expertise, our experts obtain the best from every analytical method so that you can rely on excellent results.

+49 7022 2796-681

DAkkS accreditation according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025

Accredited test laboratory for materialography

Our analytical methods for the destructive inspection of non-metallic and metallic materials, weld seam and solder seam analysis on metallic materials, layer thickness measurement, measurement of edge oxidation and determination of particle size, porosity analysis in metallic materials and coatings, particle analysis of non-metallic, carbon-based, organic and mineral particles, hardness testing, hardness curves and direct hardness measurement on metallic materials are accredited by Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS) in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. We are one of the few test laboratories in Europe in which all specialist areas have been successfully accredited.

You can read more about the advantages our accreditation offers you here: 

Read more

Frequently asked questions

How does a scanning electron microscope work?

A scanning electron microscope uses a bundled electron beam generated in an electron source. High-quality electron microscopes like our Crossbeam 350 from ZEISS use a field-emission cathode (FE gun) to generate the beam; this gun detaches electrons with a low energy width from the cathode. These electrons are guided in the direction of the sample as a very fine electron beam.

Which samples can be analysed in a scanning electron microscope?

The complete process for analysis using a scanning electron microscope must always take place in a high vacuum to prevent interactions between the electrons and air. The sample must therefore be able to withstand a vacuum. Also, a metal or graphite layer must be vapour-deposited on samples made of insulating materials. If this coating is not possible or undesirable, as an alternative an acceleration voltage can be used.

Scanning electron microscopy: what is the difference between sem and rem?

SEM is the abbreviation for scanning electron microscope. This is therefore simply English for the German term Rasterelektronenmikroskop (REM). Both terms refer to the same device and are therefore also used as synonyms in German.

Is scanning electron microscopy an established analytical method?

Yes, scanning electron microscopy has been established in materialography for decades as a method for the analysis of samples. Since the first scanning electron microscope was built by Manfred von Ardenne, these microscopes have been continuously improved and today reliably and quickly provide high-resolution images. The state-of-the-art now permits such good image quality and high resolution that in the meantime it is possible to see even individual molecules under an electron microscope.

What resolution does a scanning electron microscope achieve?

Because electromagnetic radiation has a significantly shorter wavelength than visible light, a scanning electron microscope achieves a significantly higher resolution than a light microscope. Modern electron microscopes achieve a resolution of up to 0.1 µm. This is the reason for the very high resolution in comparison to a light microscope.


the right partner

for materialography

What can we measure and analyse for you?
We would be pleased to advise you about the numerous possibilities and combined analytical methods. The goal: the best, most cost-effective and most efficient analysis of your sample.

Call us, we look forward to hearing from you!