A scanning electron microscope (SEM) is a powerful tool. The uses and applications for a SEM are extensive, from failure analysis to gauging the elemental composition of a sample — and everything in between. When properly maintained or upgraded, your SEM could increase performance, security, and image quality, providing you with better results and helping you do your job more efficiently. On the other hand, an inefficient SEM could be holding you back. What is the impact of inefficient SEM use, and how can you optimize your SEM for better results?
The Impact of Inefficient Scanning Electron Microscope Use
First, why does it matter how efficient or effective your SEM is? What is the result of a SEM that can’t keep up with your needs? Your experience may vary depending on your scanning electron microscope application and your SEM model, but results of an inefficient machine may include:
- Difficulty of use. How is your SEM operated? Many machines — particularly older models — use large control panels covered in switches and knobs to operate the SEM. Technicians and students alike may find these consoles complex and difficult to operate. The result? Operators require hours of training to use the machines and may still experience difficulty or slow operation as a result of the complex controls.
- Low-resolution imaging or inability to perform certain operations. The primary reason for using a SEM is its ability to gather microscopic information. However, in order to make use of that information, you must be able to see and make sense of it. Some SEM operating systems simply can’t capture images with high enough pixel resolution to perform certain tasks. If, for example, your SEM is capable of capturing 2k by 2k images, you may find that when you zoom in to see specific details, you get a pixelated picture that blurs key information. Learn more about getting the best quality images out of your SEM in this blog post.
- Lack of security and difficulty of collaboration. How do you share images with your team? Some SEMs do not have the ability to connect to the internet at all, making collaboration slow and difficult. Others may have internet capabilities but are not secure, making it unsafe to connect.
Options for Better SEM Results
As a laboratory manager, you need all of your machinery to work together to bring high-quality results every day. Every piece of equipment should be viewed through the lenses of performance, reliability, and functionality — you need to focus on all three.
If you’re considering your options to get better SEM results (whether you’re looking to replace or upgrade your machine) keep these factors in mind.
- Performance: Your machine must deliver high-quality imagery.
- Reliability: The SEM must work consistently without breaking down or providing inconsistent results.
- Functionality: Your team has to be able to effectively use the SEM to accomplish their goals — without long slow downs from breakage or complex operation requirements.
So what are your options — and how do they help you achieve better performance, reliability, and functionality?
Address Problems Early with Preventive Maintenance
If your SEM is capable of great performance and high-quality results, the best option is to keep it in good condition. In this case, it’s important to regularly schedule preventive maintenance. Regular maintenance check-ups can ensure your SEM and its components are always working their best. A maintenance partner can help you evaluate and calibrate your system, clean the column, replace parts, and more to keep your SEM in great condition.
Replace an Outdated SEM with a New or Refurbished Model
If you truly can’t get the performance you need out of your current scanning electron microscope, it may be time to say goodbye. A new or refurbished SEM can open up new scanning electron microscope uses and applications with enhanced performance, security, and ease-of-use. One key consideration if you decide to replace your SEM: do your research! You’ll want to ensure any model you buy can handle all of your requirements. Is it secure? What resolution does it offer? The last thing you want is to purchase a new machine and encounter the same problems as the old one.
Upgrade Your SEM with SEMView8000
Even if your SEM isn’t giving you great results, there are still ways that you can continue to use your existing machinery while massively improving its performance: upgrade your existing SEM with SEMView8000. With an upgrade from SEMTech Solutions, you can transform your existing machine — resulting in better results, better images, and better performance from the same SEM.
SEMView8000: Helping You Make the Most of Any SEM
SEMView8000 is a SEM upgrade from SEMTech Solutions. It can be implemented on any existing SEM and help you make the most of your machine. Advantages of SEMView8000 include:
- Superior image quality. SEMView8000 is capable of capturing 64 megapixel images. Depending on your current performance, this could be a massive upgrade — allowing you to capture large images and zoom in on specific areas of focus without pixelation. With this superior image quality, you can see more and operate more efficiently.
- Ease of use. Instead of navigating buttons, switches, and knobs on a complex operating panel, SEMView8000 grants you the ability to control your SEM and capture images on a Windows PC. Forget the switches — you control your machine with a simple computer mouse! This allows for faster training for your team and easier usage day in and day out.
- Ease of maintenance. The SEMTech Solutions team provides ongoing service and maintenance to ensure your upgraded SEM is always working its best. On top of that, the upgraded, simplified control system is simpler to work on than older operating consoles, making maintenance and support easier than ever.
- Secure internet access. Since SEMView8000 upgrades your operating system to a Windows PC, you have secure, simple access to the internet. That means that you can capture an image, save it to your computer, and email it to a team member within seconds — making collaboration simple, even if your team is spread around the globe.
- Ability to be installed on any SEM. SEMView8000 can be installed on any existing SEM. That means that you can upgrade without needing to invest in brand new technology. You get your own SEM that you’ve grown accustomed to — but it comes with advanced features that make your job easier!
- Integration with accessories. SEMTech Solutions provides accessories such as an EDS, BSE, IR chamberscope, and picoammeter that integrate seamlessly with the SEMView8000 allowing you to control them through the operating system. The result is a full system that is simple to operate and use from one place.
- Work with the experts. One final advantage of SEMView8000: you get the benefit of working with industry experts at SEMTech Solutions. Our team brings decades of experience working with SEMs, and we can help you get the most out of your machinery.
Curious to learn more about the benefits of a SEM upgrade? Read more here.
Get the Best Possible Performance from Your SEM
Is it time to get more from your scanning electron microscope? Our team is ready to help. We have the expertise required to upgrade your existing SEM and get better imagery, easier maintenance, and better performance.
Are you ready to get started? Contact us today to discuss your scanning electron microscope application and see how we can help.