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. 
Igneous Rock: 
Ball point Pen 
Fire Ant: 

About the Elctronic Microscopy Facility


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University of Texas at Dallas

Last updated on November, 16 1999.