Did you know the simplest way of understanding the ability of a microscope is to study a drop of water? When a drop of water falls onto a magazine the pictures or the characters seem bolder and bigger. That is what the microscopes do. Due to refraction of light smaller objects or even particles appear larger and visible. It has been many years since the invention of microscope, and since then different variations have been made to the basic object. This gave rise to the portable electron microscopes that are used today by most of the professionals involved in the field of science.
This device displays images by using beams of electrons
Modern portable electron microscopes display an image of the object by using a beam of electrons. It was crafted to visualize minute object with greater details and has better amplification powers than light microscopes. It has superior magnification powers and is quite large in size compared to other microscopes. This is high cost equipment that is usually a standalone piece occupying the majority of a room and requires a specialized person to operate it.
There are two different types of electron microscopes that are extensively used: scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). The TEM uses the principle of firing electrons to study the composite structure of the specimen. This is studied by observing the nature of the collision, penetration of the electron beam and the phase of the beam caused due to the firing of electrons. All the electron microscopes use electrostatic or electromagnetic lenses to control the electrons. The modern electron microscopes can amplify an object up to two million times, and are based on the principle of the relation between the resolution and the wavelength.
The modern version is far advanced, yet portable!
Nowadays, it is considered to be the most important operating tool within the laboratories and is an important part of it. It is used in labs to examine medical biopsy samples, crystalline structures, assortment of different molecules, biological materials like cells, metals and nature of various surfaces etc. The modern electron microscope uses a high voltage beam released by a cathode to form magnetic lenses.
This beam diffuses through a thin specimen to display the details of the specimen. This image can be easily magnified and also can be recorded by passing through a fluorescent screen, a CCD or a photographic plate. The CCD enables this image to be displayed on a computer or a monitor for easy display. The important factors in identifying electron microscopes are total magnification, resolution and the increasing voltage.
The important features of the electron microscope are:
- Image examination software
- Digital displays
- Changeable pressure chambers
- Computer interferences.
These features make the electron microscope a modern tool that is capable of performing varied duties performed inside and outside the laboratories. The TEM, is the one that is mostly used and generates two dimensional display and black and white images. Some of the modern electron microscopes are available with cameras fitted onto it.
Electron microscopes constitute an integral part of the development of human civilization for the betterment. It has been easier to trace minute viruses and micro-organisms and thereby ensure proper medications for the same. It’s owing to its versatility that portable electron microscopes are also used in forensic laboratories, for fabrication of silicon chips, for tracing gunshot residues and in production lines.