What is the difference between optical microscope and scanning electron microscope?

What is the difference between optical microscope and scanning electron microscope?

Optical microscopes have a maximum magnification power of 1,000, compared to the better resolving power of the electron microscope that can reach 1,000,000 times. Optical microscopes use photons or light energy, while electron microscopes use electrons, which have shorter wavelengths that allows greater magnification.

What are the advantages of SEM over optical microscopy?

Electron microscopes have two key advantages when compared to light microscopes:

  • They have a much higher range of magnification (can detect smaller structures)
  • They have a much higher resolution (can provide clearer and more detailed images)

How a Scanning Electron Microscope SEM have better resolution capability as compared to an optical microscope?

2 Scanning Electron Microscope. At relative lower magnification, SEM is able to obtain a large amount of sample at one time, while at higher magnification, it can get high-resolution images of local structures. Several benefits of SEM make it one of the most extensively used methods (Luykx et al., 2008).

What are the disadvantages of using an electron microscope?

Disadvantages of electron microscopy

  • Inability to analyze live specimens – As electrons are easily scattered by other molecules in the air, samples must be analyzed in a vacuum.
  • Black and white images – Only black and white images can be produced by an electron microscope.

What are the advantages of scanning electron microscope?

Advantages of Scanning Electron Microscopy

  • Resolution. This test provides digital image resolution as low as 15 nanometers, providing instructive data for characterizing microstructures such as fracture, corrosion, grains, and grain boundaries.
  • Traceable standard for magnification.
  • Chemical analysis.

Why do we use SEM?

SEM is used to show the causal relationships between variables. The relationships shown in SEM represent the hypotheses of the researchers. SEM is mostly used for research that is designed to confirm a research study design rather than to explore or explain a phenomenon.

What is a disadvantage of electron microscopes?

Electron Microscope Disadvantages The main disadvantages are cost, size, maintenance, researcher training and image artifacts resulting from specimen preparation. This type of microscope is a large, cumbersome, expensive piece of equipment, extremely sensitive to vibration and external magnetic fields.

What are 3 disadvantages of the transmission electron microscope?


  • Some cons of electron microscopes include:
  • TEMs are large and very expensive.
  • Laborious sample preparation.
  • Potential artifacts from sample preparation.
  • Operation and analysis requires special training.

What is the advantage of using an electron microscope?

Advantages of electron microscopy Magnification and higher resolution – as electrons rather than light waves are used, it can be used to analyze structures which cannot otherwise be seen. The resolution of electron microscopy images is in the range of up to 0.2 nm, which is 1000x more detailed than light microscopy.

What are the disadvantages of scanning electron microscope?

Disadvantages of Scanning Electron Microscopy

  • Vacuum environment.
  • Artifacts are possible. Samples that are strong insulators must be coated—usually with gold or carbon—before testing. However, this process can result in artifacts.

Why is an electron microscope better than a light microscope?

Electron microscopes have a far greater resolving power than light microscopes, so we can use them to see even more detail than is visible under a light microscope. When we talk about how microscopes work, we often say that they make things look bigger – that is, they magnify them.

Are light microscopes more powerful than electron microscopes?

Electron microscopes have much greater resolving power than light microscopes and can obtain much higher magnifications. Some electron microscopes can magnify specimens up to 2 million times, while the best light microscopes are limited to magnifications of 2000 times. There are multiple types of electron microscopy:

How are optical and electron microscope similar?

The way that an electron microscope works is to accelerate a focused stream of electrons in a vacuum towards the specimen. Interactions between the electron beams and the sample create an image , which is similar to how optical microscopes use light to capture images.

How many lens does an electron microscope have?

This device is called a magnetic lens because it bends the beam of electrons the same way that a glass lens bends a beam of light. A scanning electron microscope usually has more than one lens .