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Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has been almost universally applied for the surface examination and characterization of both natural and man-made objects. Although an invasive technique, developments in electron microscopy over the years has given the microscopist a much clearer choice in how invasive the technique will be. With the advent of low vacuum SEM in the 1970s (The environmental cold stage, 1970) and environmental SEM in the late 1980s (J Microsc 160(pt. 1):9-19, 1989), it is now possible in some circumstances to examine samples without preparation. However, for the examination of biological tissue and cells it is still advisable to chemically fix, dehydrate, and coat samples for SEM imaging and analysis. This chapter aims to provide an overview of SEM as an imaging tool, and a general introduction to some of the methods applied for the preparation of samples.


Chris G Jones. Scanning electron microscopy: preparation and imaging for SEM. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2012;915:1-20

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PMID: 22907399

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