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Transmission Electron Imaging and Diffraction of Asbestos Fibers in a Scanning Electron Microscope



Jason Holm, Elisabeth Mansfield


Test protocols for airborne clearance of asbestos abatement sites define the collection, imaging and quantification of asbestos with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Since those protocols were developed 35 years ago, scanning electron microscope (SEM) capabilities have significantly improved and expanded, with improvements in image spatial resolution, elemental analysis, and transmission electron diffraction capabilities. This contribution demonstrates transmission electron imaging and diffraction using NIST Asbestos Standard Reference Materials and a conventional SEM to provide comparable identification and quantification capabilities in the SEM as the current regulatory methods based on TEM techniques. The results demonstrate a viable alternative to the current regulatory methods for asbestos identification and classification.
Analytical Methods


asbestos, transmission SEM, low voltage electron microscopy, SEM, electron diffraction, 4D STEM


Holm, J. and Mansfield, E. (2024), Transmission Electron Imaging and Diffraction of Asbestos Fibers in a Scanning Electron Microscope, Analytical Methods, [online],, (Accessed July 12, 2024)


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Created June 24, 2024, Updated June 25, 2024