Electron microscopes use electrons instead of light to form and images and they have a maximum resolution of 0.0001 micrometers, wiich is about 2000 times higher than light microscopes. There are two different types of electron microscopes.
Transmission electron microscores (TEM's)
- They use electromagnets to focus a beam of electrons, which is then transmitted through the specimen.
- Denser parts of the specimen absorb more electrons, which make them look darker on the image.
- TEM's produce high resolution images but they can only be used on thin specimens.
Scanning electron microscopes (SEM's)
- SEM's scan a beam of electrons across the specimen, this knocks off electrons from the specimen which are gathered in a cathode tube ray to form an image.
- The image shows the surface of the specimen and they can be 3D.
- SEM's can be used on thick spacimens but the give a lower resolution than TEM's.