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Characterisation of Polymers in the Scanning Electron Microscope—From Low-Voltage Surface Imaging to the 3D Reconstruction of Specimens

  • A. Zankel
  • M. Nachtnebel
  • C. Mayrhofer
  • K. Wewerka
  • T. Müllner
Chapter
Part of the Springer Series in Materials Science book series (SSMATERIALS, volume 247)

Abstract

The scanning electron microscope (SEM) is a versatile tool for the characterisation of polymers. The nowadays available broad variety like the conventional SEM (CSEM), the variable pressure SEM (VPSEM) and the environmental SEM (ESEM) enable different investigation techniques for analysis. In this article special modes of performance are discussed. These are the low-voltage mode of the CSEM for the characterisation of surfaces without preparation, the low-vacuum mode of the ESEM utilising an imaging gas for charge compensation at nonconductive samples and the ESEM mode enabling the investigation of wet samples. These modes not only facilitate appropriate characterisations of conventional polymer specimens e.g. for the purpose of fractography, but even open the field for new in situ investigations, where the change of the sample due to e.g. a mechanical influence can be imaged time-resolved.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Margit Wallner for graphical support and Manuel Paller for drawing the schematic of Fig. 7.3. We are grateful to G. Leitinger from the Medical University Graz, Austria, for image courtesy of Fig. 7.6a (tissue of the retina of an insect).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Zankel
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Nachtnebel
    • 1
  • C. Mayrhofer
    • 2
  • K. Wewerka
    • 1
  • T. Müllner
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Electron Microscopy and NanoanalysisGraz University of TechnologyGrazAustria
  2. 2.Austrian Centre for Electron Microscopy and NanoanalysisGrazAustria
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry IPhilipps UniversityMarburgGermany

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