Electron Microscopes

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Electron Microscopes

Electron microscopes are an alternative to microscopes which use visible light.

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Electron microscopes

  • Electron microscopes use electrons to scan an object instead of electromagnetic radiation such as light.
  • Electron microscopes need to emit electrons with a small de Broglie wavelength to be accurate enough. This requires a potential difference on the anode of at least 150V.
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Transmission electron microscope

  • A TEM is used for very thin specimens.
  • Electrons are projected through the specimen, and the electrons that are able to pass through the specimen form an image.
    • Thinner parts of the image will allow more electrons to pass.
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Scanning tunneling microscope

  • A STM uses a small probe which moves along the sample.
  • A potential difference between the sample and the probe allows a current to flow.
  • The distance between the probe and the sample will affect the resistance, and hence the current.
  • These differences in current can be used to paint an image of the surface on the material.

Jump to other topics

1Measurements & Errors

2Particles & Radiation


4Mechanics & Materials


6Further Mechanics & Thermal Physics (A2 only)

7Fields & Their Consequences (A2 only)

8Nuclear Physics (A2 only)

9Option: Astrophysics (A2 only)

10Option: Medical Physics (A2 only)

11Option: Engineering Physics (A2 only)

12Option: Turning Points in Physics (A2 only)

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