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Scanning Electron Microscopy

What is It?

Scanning Electron Microscopy is a technique using a special microscope to see small things in great detail. The SEM can resolve from 15x to 100,000x power. The process is time consuming and tedious.

The insect, a Ladybug in this case, which is dead, is coated with a very thin layer of a metal, like gold. It is positioned on the stage. An electron beam is directed onto the specimen which scans back and forth over it. The electrons are scattered due to the metal; that is what produces the picture. But, only the surface of the specimen can be viewed.

Most SEM's are equipped with a camera, so that a photograph can be taken.

Female Ladybug

Male Ladybug