Biology in the Laboratory

Seeing Small

How does a transmission electron microscope differ from a scanning electron microscope?

The electrons used to visualize the specimens in transmission electron microscopes are transmitted by the material. The scanning electron microscope beams the electrons onto the surface of the specimen from a fine probe that rapidly passes back and forth. Electrons reflected back from the surface of the specimen, along with other electrons emitted by the specimen itself, are amplified and transmitted to a television screen for viewing.


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