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STEM-in-SEM: A Re-Emerging Material Measurement Approach



Bob R. Keller


Analytical STEM-in-SEM has undergone a striking resurgence in terms of both methodology development and applications over the past 10 to 15 years, driven in part by the significant technological potential promised by low-dimensional structures such as nanoparticles and 2D materials. Key to maximizing the quantifiable information from a structure by electron microscopy is extraction of as much information as possible from every electron. To this end, characteristic mean free paths should be comparable to the size of the probed volume. A decrease in incident electron beam energy necessarily leads to shorter mean free paths for both elastic and inelastic scattering. This implies that for a given beam current within a small volume of material, use of a lower beam energy will produce more electron scattering, thereby increasing information content for potential analysis. For example, 20 keV electrons show elastic mean free paths in the range of a few tens of nanometers, while the corresponding path lengths for 200 keV electrons range from a few tens to a few hundreds of nanometers.
Proceedings Title
M & M 2021
27 (Suppl 1)
Conference Dates
August 1-5, 2021
Conference Location
Pittsburgh, PA, US
Conference Title
Microscopy and Microanalysis 2021


STEM-in-SEM, t-SEM, transmission scanning electron microscopy, electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy


Keller, B. (2021), STEM-in-SEM: A Re-Emerging Material Measurement Approach, M & M 2021, Pittsburgh, PA, US, [online], , (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created September 21, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022