Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope
The Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope of the HSRW Centre for Microscopy
Acquired via funding for large-scale research equipment from the German Research Foundation (DFG)
The crown jewel of the Centre for Microscopy of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences is the field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM). The FESEM is used primarily within the Faculty of Life Sciences for ultra-high resolution electron imaging of organic and non-organic surfaces and interfaces. With a resolution ranging from a few nanometres to many hundred micrometres, the FESEM fills an important gap between the Centre for Microscopy’s atomic force microscope and digital 3D optical microscope.
For researchers, the FESEM is an invaluable tool in many different applications, including the study of organic material (in particular nano and microstructural analysis), the molecular architecture of wax crystals on plant surfaces, and the structure of isolated plant cuticles. It’s an important tool for characterising interactions between interfaces, e.g. examining the wetting of superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic surfaces or acquiring structural data for modelling. An additional field of focus is molecular self-organisation, commonly referred to as self-assembly.
The FESEM also serves as an important tool for assessing the quality of different materials. The FESEM’s built-in element analysis methods (EDX) are frequently used by researchers in the materials and agricultural sciences for this and similar applications.