Over the years, scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) have served as an important tool for quality control. A wide range of industries use SEMs to spot defects and impurities at the microscopic level so they can adjust the production process to ensure every product is built to the same high-quality standards.
While SEMs are critical to these processes, in the past researchers have been required to perform the same repetitive steps to analyze every object—consuming valuable time, slowing down the production process, and increasing the risk of human error.
New automation solutions are helping to solve these problems. Our Phenom desktop SEMs make it possible for users to perform in-house quality control, while automating the repetitive steps in their workflows. And whether customers need a customized or standard system, the newly available Phenom XL G2 Desktop SEM takes automation to the next level, giving them the fast, accurate information, they need to reduce failures, avoid delays, and keep the production process advancing.
With the Phenom XL G2, users can obtain high-quality images in just 40 seconds—three times faster than other desktop SEM systems on the market. The system offers an improved resolution of 10 nanometers, enabling even more resolving power and the ability to explore large samples of up to 100 by 100 millimeters. It’s also highly intuitive, extending quality checks to a broader number of users.
A key feature of the Phenom XL G2 is its new, easy-to-use user interface (UI). The highly intuitive UI combines what were once separate screens for viewing images and performing analyses into a single full-screen image, providing users with the immediate information they need to assess product quality. If researchers notice a possible impurity, they can simply click on the spot and see what elements are present using live energy-dispersive X-ray (EDS) analysis. The optical navigation camera makes it possible to view the entire sample while the user is in SEM mode.
The Phenom XL G2’s small form factor requires little lab space, eliminating the need for expensive facility renovations. It also allows users to place the microscope exactly where it’s needed—whether that’s in the lab or on the production line for real-time analyses.
With the Phenom XL G2, quality control managers can automate their repetitive workflow needed to analyze particles, pores, fibers, and large SEM images. The result is faster, more accurate analyses, more time for value-added work, and the assurance that only the highest quality products make it into customers’ hands.
Alexander Bouman is a product manager for desktop SEM at Thermo Fisher Scientific.