Surface Coating / Alfa Chemistry

Investigation of Surface Structures with Scanning Electron Microscope


The determination of chemical composition and surface structure is usually a significant factor when processing surfaces. Surface structure and morphology have a bigger role in solving challenges in specific circumstances. Furthermore, tracking changes in surface structure, distinctive features, or specific locations on the surface of coated items can aid in understanding and adjusting surface characteristics. Defect classification is also important for identifying possible origins of surface structure alterations.

However, it is critical not to rely just on the outcomes of a single method, but to integrate them. Alfa Chemistry relies on the precision of XPS and ToF SIMS instruments, but we also use SEM to assist our customers in solving challenges.

Scanning Electron Microscope Inspection

SEMs work in the same way as optical microscopes, however, they illuminate using electron beams rather than light waves. SEM images are created by scanning a focussed electron beam across the sample's surface. The detected low-energy secondary electrons are employed to regulate the brightness of the synchronized scanning CRT in the SE picture mode. X-rays and other emission signals can be detected and used to characterize the material. The primary electron beam detects these X-ray energies, which are indicative of the sample's elemental makeup, enabling both qualitative and quantitative element analysis.

Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) images of the super-hydrophobic methyl siliconeFig 1. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) images of the super-hydrophobic methyl silicone resin/SiO2 composite surface. (Huang Z. Y, et al. 2018)

The following information is available:

  • Surface morphology when collecting low-energy secondary electrons
  • When using higher energy backscattered electrons for imaging, obtain atomic number or orientation information.
  • Distinguish surface roughness, porosity, granular deposits, stress-related coarse and micro-cracks
  • Critical dimension measurement
  • Elemental analysis

Scanning Electron Microscope Service

We offer scanning electron microscope services for examining surfaces and particles, coating failure analysis, texture and morphology visualization, and material contamination. Alfa Chemistry's scientists have amassed extensive industry knowledge that may assist you in solving problems, performing quality control, and vastly improving your material understanding.

Using SEM to investigate various surfaces, our experts generate high-resolution images for associated observations and measurements. They can also inspect the sample's inner structure using various cross-sectional processes. By cooperating with you, we will be able to provide you with substantial insights based on our years of sample preparation and analysis knowledge.

Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) images of the super-hydrophobic methyl silicone

Alfa Chemistry uses a combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) to reveal morphology, layer structure, and chemical composition, not just for the average surface area, but also for particular surface features.

The benefits of our SEM-EDX analysis technology include but are not limited to:

  • Ultra-high magnification imaging of surface topography and structure
  • Very high resolution
  • Qualitative and quantitative determination of the chemical composition of any surface features
  • Suitable for any material
  • Ideal for quality control
  • Material and dimension


  • Huang Z. Y, et al. (2018). "One-Step Preparation of Durable Super-Hydrophobic MSR/SiO2 Coatings by Suspension Air Spraying." Micromachines. 9(12): 677.

Our products and services are for research use only and cannot be used for any clinical purpose.

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