Surface Coating / Alfa Chemistry

Investigation of Surface Structures with Transmission Electron Microscopy

Investigation of Surface Structures with Transmission Electron Microscopy


In materials research, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a very powerful tool. The interaction between electrons and atoms can be utilized to observe the crystal structure and features like dislocations and grain boundaries in the structure, as well as for chemical research when the high-energy electron beam passes through a very thin sample. In semiconductors, TEM can be used to investigate layer development, composition, and flaws. Its high-resolution properties can be utilized to examine quantum wells, lines, and dots for quality, shape, size, and density.

TEM expertise is in high demand, and it has a wide range of applications in a variety of industries, including surface coatings. Alfa Chemistry excels at revealing critical information about the internal structure of coated goods through TEM research. Please get in touch with us so that we can supply you with services.

Learn About Transmission Electron Microscopy

The TEM works in the same way as an optical microscope, but instead of light, it employs electrons. A condenser lens concentrates the electron beam into a tiny coherent electron beam. The beam then hits the sample and depending on the sample thickness and electronic transparency, some of the beams are transmitted. The transmitted part is focussed on an image on a phosphor screen or a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera by the objective lens.

The highest resolution that TEM images can achieve is many orders of magnitude higher than that of optical microscopes due to the wavelength of electrons being much less than that of light. Therefore, TEM can show even the tiniest features of the interior structure, down to a single atom in some situations.

The general layout of a TEM describing the path of the electron beam in a TEM.Fig1. The general layout of a TEM describing the path of the electron beam in a TEM. (Williams D. B, et al. 1996)

Surface TEM has been used to reveal surface steps and structures through bright-field and dark-field imaging, as well as high-resolution plan and/or cross-sectional imaging. A television system coupled to an electron microscope can view dynamic processes on the surface, such as stepping motion, surface phase change, and film growth. The convergent beam illumination of the high-resolution surface TEM can correctly determine the position of atoms.

Transmission Electron Microscopy of Alfa Chemistry

Our electron microscope experts combine cutting-edge transmission electron microscopes with decades of experience and critical knowledge. Magnetic lenses focus the magnified image onto a phosphorescent screen or digital camera in transmission electron microscopes, which are prepared with a sample that does not exceed 60-80 nanometers through which the electron beam is transmitted. It could comprise skilled ultramicrosections as well as image embrittlement through chilling, chemical fixing, and coloring.

The general layout of a TEM describing the path of the electron beam in a TEM.

Our experts' TEM analysis includes, but is not limited to, the following items:

  • Investigation of coating surface morphology
  • Mapping of elements
  • An examination of the coating's microstructure
  • Analysis of defects in coated and uncoated samples
  • Determine the metallization layer's thickness and structure.
  • Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy is used to analyze chemicals (EDX)
  • Nano-inorganic materials' size and structure, as well as their dispersion in an epoxy resin matrix
  • Use chemical dyeing technology to study the fracturing effect of impact modifier particles and acrylic matrix

Alfa Chemistry has the expertise and equipment to perform a thorough TEM analysis of coatings in our laboratory.


  • Williams D. B, et al. (1996). Transmission Electron Microscopy.

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