Skip Navigation

High Resolution Microscopy

& Advanced Imaging

SEM Operating Instructions

Supplemental Procedure for SEM

Choose proper holder for sample.

  1. Turn on IR Camera Software (to be sure that nothing is in the chamber and that it is clear to open chamber door.
  2. Vent the system on front panel – press and hold VENT until the button lights and flashes.
  3. Check z-axis to make sure it is set at 20 or greater.
  4. Once VENT button is a solid light – you may open the chamber by pulling out from sides.
  5. Mount your holder on the stage using the dovetails on the mount sliding into corresponding holder on the stage.
  6. Check to make sure stage Z is low enough that the sample will not hit the objective lens above it – push the chamber door closed.
  7. While holding chamber door press the EVAC button on the front panel until it lights.  Hold the door closed until you hear the pump kick on.
  8. Let the system pump down for a minimum of 15 minutes (this clears any dirt and moisture from the chamber).
  9. Turn on the Jsm5000* software.
  10. Set the accelerator voltage, ACC VOLT, to 5kV or 10kV.  (The higher the kV the more you will charge your sample and shorten the filament life).  Spotsize is ideally set between 20 & 30.
  11. Turn HT on (in the upper left corner).
  12. Click on the STAGE button, top right on the JSM software screen select INITIAL POSITION, then press GO – to center the sample.
  13. Click on the WD in the bottom panel and chose 10mm.  The closer the working distance, WD, the better the resolution although if too close the stage won't move. If at any point the image is too bright or dark, use Auto Contrast Brightness, ACB along top of screen, or the two knobs on the manual adjustment pad.
  14. Now turn the z stage counterclockwise (vertical knob on the chamber door) until your sample is in focus. Note:  If using Tilt (knob on side of chamber door), you may have to compromise the working distance or the stage X Y may not work.
  15. Pick something to focus on – ideally a point or fine particle and bring up the MAGNIFICATION.
  16. Go to Scan 1.  Bring up the magnification in the smaller screen on the display.  You may use the buttons at the top of the display or the lower left knob on the manual adjustment pad.  Take the magnification to a comfortable level.
  17. FOCUS – STIGMA X – STIGMA Y, then re-FOCUS. (Note: the higher the magnification you do your initial focus the better your resolution at lower magnifications.)
  18. SCAN 3 to verify focus and clarity.
  19. If the scan is acceptable – SCAN 4 & ACB.
  20. Save the image (File, Save or the SAVE button above the display).
  21. Repeat for other samples/images you want.
  22. To finish, turn HT OFF (top left corner).  The system will have a pop-up window asking you to turn off the computer and the system. Click OK but DO NOT perform the tasks.
  23. Lower Z to 25 or greater.
  24. Wait 10 minutes before venting the chamber (the column is super heated at this point and introducing cool air (venting) immediately will cause damage to the filament by causing condensation to occur).