scanning electron microscope

Definition: Instrument for creating extremely high-magnification images with high depth of field. * A beam of electrons accelerated to high energy is focused on the sample which has been prepared so as to scatter electrons: the beam is made to scan the sample's surface which ejects secondary electrons which are 'read' by a detector. * As the beam is highly collimated, depth of field is very considerable. * The scans are built up from the detector into an image displayed on a monitor.

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