a scanning electron microscope, a tiny electron beam is focussed onto the sample. Simultaneous to scanning the beam across a selected sample area, generated signals are
being recorded and thereby an image is formed pixel by pixel. In contrast to TEM methods needing very thin
samples (cf. STEM, using transmitted
electrons), compact samples can thus be investigated by SEM. Valuable
information about morphology, surface topology and composition
can be obtained. SEM microscopes achieving resolutions below 1
nm are available now.