Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences

Field-Emission Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope FEI XL30 ESEM-FEG










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The Field-Emission Environmental SEM Philips XL30 is an instrument in which specimens can be examined at conventional high vacuum mode or at relatively high chamber pressure environment.  It combines two main advantages: 

  • High resolution/magnification and excellent signal to noise ratio in both regular high vacuum and environmental (Wet) mode due to field-emission electron source.
  • Real “Wet” mode (100% humidity in the specimen chamber) and the possibility to examine specimens with pressure in the chamber up to 10 Torr.
Almost any specimen of suitable size can be examined in this microscope without destruction and additional specimen preparation procedures, which may lead to various artifacts.


Environmental Mode

By utilizing cooling Peltier stage and high water vapor pressure in the specimen chamber (so called "Wet" mode) it is possible to achieve high levels of humidity (up to 100%). In these conditions wet or hydrated specimens (cells, plant samples, tissue, etc.) will not dry and introduce any artifacts. Dynamic experiments are also possible; for example, drying or crystallization processes can be examined. 

Specimen observation at raised chamber pressure without cooling stage (so called “variable pressure” mode)is useful for observing non-conductive specimens without coating. Paper, plastics, ceramics, fibers, fabrics, outgassing materials – everything goes! 

Unlike instruments from other manufacturers, Philips environmental microscopes provide true secondary electron imaging, and so achieve very high resolution and can use low beam intensity. This is very important for beam-sensitive specimens such as biological samples, plastics, textile fibers.

High Vacuum Mode

The main advantage of the XL30 in high vacuum mode is its field-emission electron gun and advanced electron optics. So, a high resolution/magnification is obtainable at about any high voltage setting. 
High vacuum mode can be divided in two sub modes: 

  • Low voltage mode – for observing non coated samples. Very low voltage (0.2-1.0 kV) can be used for observation of beam sensitive samples.
  • Regular mode – for observing conductive and coated samples. Since useful resolution is very specimen dependable, this mode usually yields best results at highest magnifications.


Contact Info

Vladimir M. Dusevich, Ph.D.
Electron Microscopy
Room 371 School of Dentistry
650 East 25th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64108-2784
Phone: (816) 235-2072
FAX: (816) 235-5524