A D V A N C E D M A T E R I A L S & P R O C E S S E S | A P R I L 2 0 2 0 2 6 TECHNICAL SPOTLIGHT ADVANCED MICROSCOPY TECHNIQUES FOR NEW INSIGHTS IN MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY New electrical, mechanical, and chemical testing capabilities give SEMs the feel of a self-contained “nano-laboratory.” A s contemporary materials have continued to evolve from the macro- to nanoscale, the need for advanced microscopy techniques has dramatically increased. Scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) are pow- erful and versatile tools for scientists due to their large depth of field (com- pared to optical microscopes), high spatial resolution (high magnification), and analytical capabilities for chemical composition analysis via various types of spectroscopy. In many cases, visual- ization of specimen topography, micro- structure, or determining the cause of a failure is as simple as a single image. However, it is often necessary to employ a multifaceted approach to be able to answer the pertinent ques- tion about material properties that will guide future technological advance- ments. SEM offers flexibility through the addition of a variety of electrical, me- chanical, and chemical test equipment that makes the instrument a self-con- tained “nano-laboratory.” Several new developments in SEM technology al- low new and more flexible approaches to the analysis of novel systems, such as Li battery-related materials, nanostruc- tured and nanoporous materials, and novel approaches to 3D analysis. FROM MACRO TO NANO One of researchers’ key require- ments is the ability to link a micro- structural defect or feature to the mi- cro- and nanostructural properties that might be key to understanding and im- proving on the current material design. JEOL has incorporated a Zeromag fea- ture across all SEM platforms that al- lows users to take a snapshot of the specimen (optical image) before SEM observation. The user can then navi- gate based on this image to a region of interest, magnify the area to the desired feature size, and observe and chemi- cally analyze the location with the SEM while maintaining an optical image tag (Fig. 1). This capability is useful for re- searchers who would like to observe multiple specimens or multiple loca- tions on the same specimen. Moreover, an integrated energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) system can tag these locations with chemical analysis and provide on-the-fly composition- al information as the multiple samples or multiple locations on the specimen are scanned. INVESTIGATION OF ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE MATERIALS Due to either potential oxygen or moisture-related reactivity, several classes of contemporary materials re- quire preparation and subsequent anal- ysis without air exposure. The most prominent case of a technologically Fig. 1 — Seamless navigation and subsequent imaging and analysis via Zeromag function.