Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) uses a focused electron beam to image a sample instead of light. While light microscopes have a resolution limit of about 500nm (dictated by the wavelength of light), a good SEM can image features approaching a few nanometers. The SEM reveals a whole new world of tiny features and shapes that are invisible to the light microscope world. Most of these samples are simple black powders to the eye and even when using a high-quality optical microscope, they are quite bland and simple structures. It is only when you get the focus and stigma perfect on a field emission scanning electron microscope that these beautiful features come alive. After working all week in the lab preparing samples and carefully coating nanometer thick coatings onto your substrates, it is magical to get to see the results of your work using SEM. As a materials scientist, it is through microscopy and surface analysis that we learn about mechanisms that impact the performance of our materials. Without the best tools we would be blind to what we are working towards. Having the highest resolution tools makes us powerful investigators and inventors. We believe that scientists should be using the highest resolution pressure sensors available to them for their experiments.
What if there is a whole new world of understanding that can be unlocked by using a better sensor with higher resolution?