The scanning electron microscope (SEM) is used for the imaging of the samples surface. The inner microstructure can be observed by examining fracture samples or metallographic sections. The SEM delivers higher lateral resolution than an optical microscope.
Today, the SEM is one of the basic techniques for sample characterization in materials science. By the detectors installed, qualitative as well as quantitative information on topology, phase composition, proportion and orientation is retrieved.
The fractography analysis and in situ mechanical testing is also possible. EDS is used for qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis; crystallographic orientation analysis and microtexture investigations are conducted by electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD).