Category: Philips XL 40 ESEM

ESEM in Electron Optics

E-SEM: EBSD Detector Down

The EBSD detector on the ESEM has been damaged and the phosphor screen will need to be replaced. We are in contact with Oxford and hope to have the repairs completed in the next few weeks.  The ESEM is still available for SE/BSE imaging and EDS analysis.

Please remember EBSD is only to be performed by highly-skilled, trained users who have been trained by ACMAL staff to use the EBSD detector. This is a very sensitive process and the detector can easily be damaged. Users with large SEM samples also need to be careful not to hit the detectors. Repairs are costly and result in instrument downtime.


ESEM Online

The turbo pump was successfully replaced and the ESEM is back online. I’m going to open the calendar for reservations. However, I may need to cancel appointments once the technician confirms their availability.

Please note, I am noticing some noise in higher mag images. We will be having a technician come in sometime in the next couple of weeks for routine maintenance and they will be looking into this as well. 


All reservations cancelled

As a result of Dr. Koubek’s email to campus regarding the Governor’s executive order, I am cancelling all use reservations in the calendar this afternoon.  We will be ready to begin again after we return from the stay at home 3 weeks from now.


IMPORTANT Saturating ESEM filament

We have made changes to the process of saturating the ESEM filament.  Now we use Scan>Horizontal Line and monitor that line as the Filament slider is changed.  Saturation occurs when the horizontal line stops increasing when the slide is increased.  The point when it stops increasing is saturation, so you may overshoot and have to slide it back slightly.  When you complete saturation return to Scan>Full Screen to stop the line.  Click Filament Limit as you usually would.  Any of you who learned to saturate the filament on the 6400 SEM will recognize this technique.

I want to show you how to do this so let me know when you’d want to see it done.  It is really easy and there is no ambiguity when setting saturation like using the “football”.  We will be making changes to the standard operating procedure.

This a a precise technique and the filament will last longer.


ESEM back online now

The ESEM is back online and ready to use.

I’m not certain what went wrong but I’m suspicious of the AZtec scan grabber. The AZtec software acquires an ESEM image by taking control of the ESEM scan hardware. When the scan is complete it should release the ESEM hardware. I have seen a few times that it doesn’t release. If you have trouble seeing a scanning ESEM image after acquiring with AZtec try to shut down the AZtec software and see if the scan returns. If it still down’t return contact me and I’ll take a look at it.