The images that McCrone Associates provides are an integral part of a client’s project. Seeing the object of interest is absolutely necessary to fully comprehending it and answering a client’s questions. Scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) provide the high resolution, large depth of field, and analytical capabilities vital for many projects. Conventional tungsten filament, variable pressure SEMs are versatile microscopes that can cover many of our needs. However, conventional tungsten filament SEMs are limited in spatial resolution due to the relatively large electron beam diameter. In the past, projects requiring higher spatial resolution required the use of a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM). Historically, FESEMs were larger column instruments with strict vacuum requirements and limited microanalysis capabilities. McCrone Associates has three FESEMs for highest spatial resolution imaging projects.

The instrument manufacturer JEOL has released the revolutionary JSM-IT500HR InTouchscope to provide the best of both variable pressure SEMs and FESEMs.

The JSM-IT500HR provides improved spatial imaging capability with enhanced user operation through the use of a Windows 10-based touchscreen-enabled graphical user interface. The system also includes an integrated JEOL silicon drift detector energy dispersive spectrometer (SDD-EDS) and an Oxford Instruments SDD-EDS for exceptional microanalytical capabilities.

This high resolution SEM, installed in the McCrone Associates lab during December 2017, is the first instrument of its type installed outside the manufacturer’s facilities. The new instrument will provide clients with improved SEM images and microanalysis for their most frequent projects without need of a separate FESEM analysis session, maximizing value and reducing project time.

In order to make room for the new SEM, MA donated its JEOL JSM-6480LV SEM to Hooke College of Applied Sciences for student use; students will also gain hands-on experience at the JSM-IT500HR InTouchscope during SEM classes.