Science Behind the Service: Scanning Electron Microscopy

What is Scanning Electron Microscopy?      

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is an advanced microscope imaging technique that  uses a high energy electron beam to  create a greyscale image of a sample's surface topography and obtain composition data.  Variations in the level of grey shading create a 3d like image depicting shapes, textures and  changes in the topography. Quality concerns can be evaluated for defects, corrosion and composition with the data obtained through the  Electron Microscope.

How does a Scanning Electron Microscope work?

     A scanning electron microscope uses a  focused beam of electrons to scan a sample. When the electron beam scans the sample, two separate electron reactions take place causing backscattered electrons and secondary electrons. The microscope has receptors designed to collect these electron reactions to form the 3d like grey scale image. The first reaction occurs when the high energy electrons are d(r)eflected by the sample.  samples reflects electrons from the e some of the electrons from the beam. This The atoms in the a scanning electron microscope is designed to interact with a sample layer, penetrating a few microns below the surface. This high energy column of electrons will  produce 2 types of electron reactions, Backscattered electrons and Secondary electrons. Backscattered Electrons are high energy electrons that are reflected by the surface of a sample. These backscattered electrons originate from the electron gun that produces a high energy electron beam.  Secondary Electrons are produced when atoms on the surface of a sample are electrons that are produced Microscopes using visible light . Three dimensional, high resolution images can be obtained. Details as small as 70 angstroms can be depicted guests and employees. Hand sanitizer stations will be provided at each entrance. Guests are asked to provide their own masks. If a guest arrives with out a masks Micron will either provide one for them or ask that they return at another time with proper protection. All precautions are being enacted to combat the COVID-19 Virus crisis in accordance with CDC guidelines.  Common areas, work areas, conference rooms, restrooms, and packages will be sanitized regularly with disinfectant wipes and recommended all purpose cleaners.

Private Conference Rooms

 Group Viewing Screens

Inspection Flow

Testing protocols lay out the course of the inspection for the day. Prior to booking you will want to ensure that our facility can accommodate all the testing needed.

Along with all of our regular testing we are equipped with a class 100 clean room, and sample preparation.  Portable band saws, a table saw and grinders are are frequently used to prepare cross sections and obtain smaller cut samples for testing.

Booking an Inspection
Get in touch directly by giving us a call, sending us an Email or filling out the “Schedule an Inspection” Form on this page.

Helpful Things to Include:

• Protocol or a List of testing you need

• a Range of Dates for Inspection

• Questions

A Retainer fee is required to hold a date for Inspection. The cost will be applied to all testing through out the inspection.

The Retainer must be paid in full prior to the day of inspection.


• Reference Micron Invoice # on payment

Evidence transportation
Evidence may be dropped off between 8:30am – 5pm Monday through Friday. Large Deliveries are accepted at the garage on the far right corner of the building. A pallet jack is on site but no delivery dock is available.

Please provide a Chain of Custody Sheet. Evidence transport is not provided

Micron’s facility is hidden. Download directions to avoid getting lost with the GPS.

We are located behind the Mercedes Benz of Wilmington on Route 48 in the back right corner lot.

Download Directions Here


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+ Retainer Forms (to be provided at booking)


+ Hotels

+ Local Restaurant on Diner’s, Drive in’s & Dive

Check in
Attendees will be asked to sign in on a group inspection sheet for documentation. Once the evidence has been gathered and all parties have arrived the inspection will begin.

Wifi will also be provided.


 A knowledgeable Senior technologist will advise on proper sample preparation and the best course of testing. Videography and photography is welcome for documentation. Separate Conference rooms will be available for private discussion of the case.

Once the inspection is concluded each attendee will leave with a copy of the sign in sheet. Any Data gathered may be provided on a USB flash drive or mailed once more testing is concluded.

On occasions samples may be sent out for more testing.


Metal Phase Analysis

Heat Treatment Quality Control

Defect Analysis in Castings

Case Depth Measurements

Fracture Analysis

Contaminant Analysis

Polymer Identification

Plating Defects

Stainless Steel Passivization Measurements

Grain Size Measurements

Internal Defects Determination

Corrosion Product Analysis

Failure Analysis


Thermal Analysis: DSC, TGA

Surface Analysis: Auger, ESCA

Polymer Analysis: FTIR

Surface Topography: Keyence Digital, SEM

Hardness: Vickers, Knoop, Rockwell

Chemical Analysis: EDS

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