Recently purchased, the JEOL JSM 7900F-LV is a direct upgrade to the current 7400F FE-SEM which has served Clarkson researchers for the past 18 years. This new model not only boasts a better resolution, taking the previous 1.5nm up to 1nm and pushing 0.6nm at high kVs. This microscope is also equipped with a low vacuum chamber in order to better accommodate biological or other partially hydrated specimens. While many of the familiar capabilities are available such as Secondary Electron Imaging, Low Energy Electrons, Beam Deceleration, and Backscatter Electron Imaging, this SEM is capable of not only pushing the resolution but also providing high quality images at low accelerating voltages down to a few 10's-100's of volts, a regime previously rendered problematic due to high noise. All of this next-generation performance is also backed up with an easy to use software interface, increasing the ease of use for those new to SEM, while still providing full manual control over analytical parameters for the experienced microscopist.
A set of peripherals from Oxford Instruments take this microscope from just an imaging machine to one that is also capable of simultaneously collecting EDS and EBSD. The Aztek Ultimate EDS detector is a Silicon Drift Detector, a newer technology compared to the older Si-Li crystal of our older model, this allows for much faster measurements, in many cases measurements that used to take 30 minutes can now be done in 5 or less under the proper conditions. With this system it will be possible to collect elemental information at times nearly as rapid is collecting an image. The analytical package includes functionalities such as live x-ray mapping, quantitative analysis, drift detection, and large area mapping where multiple images can be stitched together. The EBSD system can be used to detect the distribution and orientation of different crystallites on the surface of a material and index the phase data, correlated to an image. With this combination it is possible to simultaneously learn about the morphology, elemental distribution, and crystallographic information of a well prepared material.