20 Difference Between Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscope


Table of Contents

In my previous notes, I have already discussed Transmission Electron Microscope and Scanning Electron Microscope, their working principle, parts, definition, application, advantages, disadvantages, and light path. You can check them out.

20 Difference Between Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscope

Difference Between Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscope
TopicTransmission Electron MicroscopeScanning Electron Microscope
3D/2D Image2D projection image of the inner structure3D image of surface
Type of electronsTransmitted electronsScattered, scanning electrons
Max. FOVLimitedLarge
PrincipleBased on transmitted electrons or produces images by detecting primary electrons transmitted from the sampleBased on scattered electrons or produces images by detecting secondary electrons which are emitted from the surface due to excitation by the primary electron beam
Specimen PreparationComplex processes.Easy processes
Specimen thicknessTypically <150 nmAny
OperationLaborious sample preparation, trained users requiredLittle or no sample preparation, easy to use
Maximum magnificationMore than 50 million timesUp to ~1–2 million times
Depth of fieldModerateHigh
High tension~60–300 kV~1–30 kV
Optimal spatial resolution<50 pm~0.5 nm
Image formationDirect imaging on a fluorescent screen or PC screen with CCDElectrons are captured and counted by detectors, image on PC screen
Specimen mountingThin films on copper gridsAluminum stubs
ApplicationUsed to study the ultra structure of the cell and its components. It can see objects as small as a protein molecule or even at nano level. Provides details about internal composition of cells or any suitable material under studyUsed to produce excellent images of the surfaces of cells and small organisms. Excellent for studying surface morphology of the organisms, cells or any suitable material under study
ImagingThe electron beam passes through the sample and creates an image of the specimenElectron beam scans over the surface of the sample and create an image of the specimen.
Specimen FixationSpecimen fixation is completed by two methods Chemical fixation of specimen and Cryofixation fixation of the specimen.Specimen fixation is completed by ALDEHYDES and OSMIUM TETROXIDE
Coating of specimenNot required.the specimen is coated with a conductive material to prevent the charge buildup on specimen surface.
PolishingThis is done with the Ultrafine abrasives, to give the sample a mirror-like finish.Not Required.
Produce portable digital dataNo.Produces
TimeLong process as compared to SEMRequire less time as compared to TEM


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