Department of Geosciences
Scanning Electron Microscopy Facility
The scanning electron microscopy is able to produce images of three
dimensional objects because of its use of electron beams, instead of light.
The scanning electron microscope is capable of a range of magnification
that overlaps the range of the light microscope. The maximum effective
magnification of the light microscope is about 1,000 diameters. The scanning
electron microscope has an effective magnification of more than a million
diameters. The SEM is useful over a magnification range from about 15 diameters
to about 100,000 diameters.
The broad magnification of the SEM, together with the ease of changing
magnification , makes it easy to “zoom” from a general view to the most
fine details. Unlike the optical lenses, which changes its focal length
and hence its depth of field, the lenses of the SEM does not change its
focal length and depth of field at higher magnification.
As an example of the SEM capabilities, Click on the pictures to zoom
Penny: The secrets of a coin.
Ball point Pen
About the Elctronic Microscopy Facility
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of Texas at Dallas
Last updated on November, 16 1999.