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Fast and smart study of environmental pollution with desktop SEM Phenom proX

Phenom proX desktop SEM

The importance of environmental quality demands that biologists both understand natural ecosystems and learn to be effective problem solvers

One key environmental issue involves the effects of the pollution from heavy industries on the environment. Different equipment with different techniques is required to be able to study and analyze these effects.

With the Phenom proX desktop SEM, sample structures can be physically examined and their elemental composition determined. Viewing three-dimensional images of microscopic structures only solves half the problem when analyzing samples. It is often necessary to collect more than optical data to be able to identify the different elements in a specimen.

This is accomplished in the Phenom proX with a fully integrated and specifically designed EDS detector. The Phenom proX is a high-magnification desktop scanning electron microscope with integrated X-ray analysis.

X-ray analysis combined with electron imaging (electron beam microanalysis) is a very powerful tool for understanding the composition and structure of materials. Electron beam microanalysis is a non-destructive analytical technique, capable of performing elemental analysis of micro-volumes.

Phenom proX desktop SEM Banner
Subject of investigation: piece of leaf gathered close to an industrial zone.

To prepare the sample for investigating inside the Phenom proX, a small piece was glued onto an aluminum stub using conductive carbon paint.

The optical image was taken with the navigation camera inside the Phenom proX providing color information. The dark spot or stain is the point of interest for further imaging and analysis.

The image on the right shows the Phenom SEM image taken at 3,600x magnification. The leaf is imaged in its original state using the back scatter detector which provides the material contrast information. This means that different materials can be distinguished - an ideal starting point for performing further X-ray analysis in order to determine the particle composition.

The particle can immediately be analyzed using the Phenom’s integrated X-ray detector. The above screenshot shows the element identification results for the particle highlighted on the periodic table and in a separate table on the right-hand side. The spectrum shows the elements found automatically. The heaviest element present in the particle is Iron (Fe).

The Phenom proX system is able to generate these results in a few minutes after sample preparation, which makes it possible to provide high throughput for environmental control and research

All Phenom desktop SEM systems give direct access to the high-resolution and high-quality imaging and analysis required in a large variety of applications. They are an affordable, flexible and fast tool enabling engineers, technicians, researchers and educational professionals to investigate micron and submicron structures.

For more information about the Phenom desktop SEM systems, software solutions, sample holders, and many other accessories contact us directly at or visit

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