SEM Failure Analysis

Scanning Electron Microscopy Analysis

Scanning Electron Microscope is one of the most advanced electron microscopes. It has a great advantage to be used as an analytical tool that provides highly magnified images. By using a focused beam of electrons, it generates signals at the surface of the sample and provides the details about chemical composition, surface morphology, crystalline structure and the orientation of the materials that constitute the sample.

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is based on high technology that offers long-depth-of-field with three dimensional images with high resolution. It is capable of examining the sample on a minute scale. Through this examination, we can analyze the following information:


  • Topography
    • The surface features of an object or "how it looks", its texture; direct relation between these features and materials properties (hardness, reflectivity...etc.
  • Morphology
    • The shape and size of the particles making up the object; direct relation between these structures and materials properties (ductility, strength, reactivity...etc.
  • Crystallographic Information
    • How the atoms are arranged in the object; direct relation between these arrangements and materials properties (conductivity, electrical properties, strength...etc.

    Images of high resolution of the morphology or topography of a sample along with great depth of field at low or high magnification can be obtained by scanning an electron probe across the sample. Characterization of fine particulate matter in terms of shape, size and distribution and statistical analysis can be performed using this high technology based electron microscope.

Typical Applications

  • Microscopic feature measurement
  • Verification of product integrity
  • Thin coating evaluations
  • Evaluation and identification of microstructures on sample surfaces
  • Failure analysis
  • Surface contamination examination

Glass Delamination Investigations

Spectro offers complete range of glass failures as well as defects that include glass delamination studies. Optical examination is conducted to find out the location and appearance of the suspected delamination to determine the root cause analysis. In case, there are suspended particles in the liquid, they can be filtered out and if the particles are attached to the surface of the glass then that particular item is prepared to enable further examinations. By using SEM, we can visually examine the particles captured during filtration and the particles from the glass surface also.

Through SEM, we can reveal even the slightest abnormalities in the topography of the surface.

Failure Analysis

Defects and product failures are common phenomena even in the most stable manufacturing processes. Therefore, analyzing the cause of failure and its correction are of high concern in order to improve the profitability and maintaining the quality. SEM is an effective tool used to investigate the failure cause. However, the cause of failure is not always clear because there may be various possibilities for which method to choose. Applying the Scanning Electron Microscopy technique to the failure or defect issues solves the problem by locating, characterizing and identifying the cause of failures in the sample.

SEM analyses the surface of the particles or materials to measure the fine details.