Scanning electron microscope

The scanning electron microscope, a large-scale facility at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics in Stuttgart, is used for quality assurance measures, damage analysis, structural studies, ageing tests and microscopic analytics in the nanometre range.

Quality assurance through swift analysis of sensitive samples

The scanning electron microscope at DLR in Stuttgart is a specialised set of analytical devices for investigating components of electrochemical energy conversion. The combination of the high-resolution scanning electron microscope and its optimised detectors (EDX and EBSD) allows for highly flexible and swift investigation capabilities.

With the help of 'charge compensation', it is possible to use the scanning electron microscope to examine sensitive samples without pre-treatment. Another important element of the facility is its X-ray diffractometer. Equipped with a flat panel detector, microfocus tubes and a temperature control unit effective from minus 100 to plus 350 degrees Celsius, the Bruker D8 diffractometer is an innovation for X-ray diffraction technology.

The diffractometer is used for quality assurance purposes and for the investigation of electrochemical processes, including those occurring in situ. It enables qualitative and quantitative phase analysis for structure determination (including lattice parameters, microstructure, crystallinity and residual stress) during temperature and atmospheric changes.

The scientific insight and findings generated at this large-scale facility can then be fed into projects, publications and university theses. The facility also increases the appeal of the Institute regarding the acquisition of new projects in the field of electrochemical energy technology.


Volker Speelmann

Head of Research Infrastructures
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Executive Board department for Innovation, Transfer and Research Infrastructure
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne

Robert Ruckdäschel

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics
Electrochemical Energy Technology
Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, 70569 Stuttgart