Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) are used to take high resolution 3D images of surfaces. I’ve been using an SEM to image different portions of some of our brachiopod fossils so that we can get a better view of their topography.
One of the most difficult parts of using an SEM (at least for me) has been working on my focusing skills. In general, you start out at a relatively low resolution and focus, then increase the resolution slightly and focus again, and so on and so on. However, if you don’t focus well enough at one resolution and continue to zoom in, you won’t get very good images. Sometimes I have to zoom back out a few levels and redo a focus to clear up the images. Practice makes perfect!!
Here are some of the images I’ve collected so far:
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