SEM-EDS Sample Analysis Services

The Element Pi demonstration lab houses 2 new SEM-EDS systems available for contracted analytical service work at very affordable rates.  The acquisition and ownership cost of an SEM or SEM/EDS system can be a challenge to justify for some researchers or manufacturers but the information provided is valuable and often necessary.

Our lab is available to assist you on a contract basis.  Our unique attraction is that your service fees can be credited towards a future purchase of one of our SEM or SEM-EDS systems.  Your “credit” will accumulate at a rate of 50% of paid amounts.  This provides an attractive means to justify your requirements or prove a new analytical procedure is worth implementing.

Customers use our SEM lab for a variety of purposes:

  • Occasional SEM imaging needs
  • EDS Micro-Analytical testing of sample composition
  • Metrology of micro features
  • As a referee for an existing SEM tool
  • To address lack of capacity in your existing lab
  • Expert witness requirements

How we operate / How you are involved:

While we welcome projects where samples are sent to us, analyzed and reports provided — we are also unique in that we INVITE YOU TO OPERATE THE SEM or work on the system “virtually” through the web.

Our SEM systems are entry-level and therefore very easy to operate and learn to use.  After a quick training session, you are free to operate the SEM with our assistance as needed at a more economical cost.  You can “Rent Access” in this manner to a state-of-the-art, modern SEM-EDS system.

Our lab includes modern HD video camera that is remotely controllable.  Using our ZOOM web conferencing, this allows you as the customers to either observe our analysis effort in real-time to guide us what exactly you want imaged but also gives you the ability to operate the SEM remotely should you wish.  Our hands-on is still needed for sample loading of course.

SEM-EDS Contract Sample Analysis
SEM-EDS Contract Sample Testing

Available Tools

  • EM-30AXN Tabletop SEM-EDS
    • recommended sample size:  35mm maximum
    • Oxford AZtecLiveOne EDS – 30mm2
    • STEM detector for TEM prepared samples
  • Sample Preparation Tools:
    • SPT-20 Sputter Coater (flat samples)
    • DSR Sputter Coater (3D samples)
    • DCR Carbon Coater
    • CP-8000 Argon Ion Mill Cross Section Polisher
SEM software GUI
Oxford EDS AZtecLiveOne GUI

SEM-EDS Analysis Pricing

All analysis service fees can be credited towards a future purchase of one of our SEM or SEM-EDS systems.  Your “credit” will accumulate at a rate of 50% of paid amounts up to a maximum credit depending on the SEM system you acquire.  Please inquire for further details.

Our SEM analysis services are billed on an hourly basis against a prepaid retainer fee which is specified based on your project requirements.  Unused retainer fees are refunded upon request.

SEM Service Rate:  $ 250 per hour

Minimum Retainer Fee:  $ 1,000 

We offer a variety of Programs to suit different levels of customer involvement during the testing.  We are glad to customize a plan to suit your specific needs.  All time is tracked in 15-minute increments.


A) Element Pi performs sample prep, SEM analysis and provides images and report

In a traditional manner, this program entails sending samples to us with specific instructions for what to analyze with each image.  You can specify how to prepare samples, send them already prepared and ready to image, or consult with us for recommendations.  Our submission form above allows you to specify the number of images per sample and minimum to maximum magnifications or size of features you wish to observe.

We start most projects on an hourly basis and once we reach a level of mutual understanding, a “price per sample” can be established if you wish to continue with repeat or consecutive testing of similar analysis.

B) Rented Time on SEM with Guided Assistance

This program allows you to “rent time” in our lab to use any of our SEM systems and sample prep equipment.  You will initially go through a checkout phase if you have experience with SEM-EDS or training on how to operate the SEM and EDS.  Our technicians will sit with you until you are comfortable operating the systems on your own.  Likewise, we are available to assist you with any technical assistance you might need.

C) Virtual Operation or Guidance

Similar to Program “A” above, the primary difference is that we use our ZOOM meeting capability with screen sharing, audio and video to allow you to be present during the analysis on a “virtual” basis either as an observer or to guide us in what you want analyzed, or we can activate remote control allowing you to operate the SEM and EDS from your desk.  We provide all of the “hands on” requirements such as sample prep, sample loading, and any manual SEM operation required such as Final Aperture change and adjustment.

Please Contact Us to discuss your requirements and any questions you might have regarding our capabilities.