Scanning electron microscope, 3D illustration

Scanning electron microscope, 3D illustration

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Credit: KARL GAFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron microscope (SEM), cut-away illustration. An SEM uses an electron beam (vertical green line) to obtain a three-dimensional image of an object at magnifications much higher than can be obtained using light waves. The beam is scanned over the sample in a vacuum, causing the emission of secondary electrons (diagonal green line). These secondary electrons are detected and used to form the image.

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