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Scanning electron microscopy

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scanning electron microscopy

(Science: procedure) technique of electron microscopy in which the specimen is coated with heavy metal and then scanned by an electron beam. The image is built up on a monitor screen (in the same way as the raster builds a conventional television image). The resolution is not so great as with transmission electron microscopy, but preparation is easier (often by fixation followed by critical point drying), the depth of focus is relatively enormous, the surface of a specimen can be seen (though not the interior unless the specimen is cracked open) and the image is aesthetically pleasing.