Scanning electron microscope opens up new possibilities

27 October, 2023

Provexa Technology invests in a new scanning electron microscope

Text and photo: Janne Näsström

In the world of surface treatment, the result can depend on the number of atomic layers. That is why Provexa Technology AB has invested in a new scanning electron microscope.

– It gives us even greater opportunities in research & development, and troubleshooting, says Christian Werdinius, R&D manager at Provexa Technology.

The new microscope has higher resolution and can also be used for chemical analysis, as X-rays can be detected. Built-in plasma cleaning in a vacuum means that foreign substances are eliminated.

– We have also invested in two detectors to measure the X-ray radiation generated on the surface of the sample, EDS and WDS. They measure the concentration of various elements with high sensitivity, says Christian.

– We have also invested in an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer with high sensitivity. It measures the concentration of different elements, says Christian.

Together with the scanning electron microscope, it means that both the structure and the composition of surfaces can be mapped at the nanometer level. With the equipment in house, you can get to the bottom of tests faster.

– We can also follow up observations that are outside the scope of the assignment. The more you look, the more you discover, says Christian.

If the laboratory’s equipment is not sufficient, Provexa Surface Treatment collaborates with Chalmers University of Technology, the research institute RISE and other players in testing, research and development. The sum of the network is opportunities that few other companies can offer.

With resources at this level, the missions are not routine analyses, but advanced troubleshooting, product development and mission research. A current project is about graphene and other 2D materials.

Provexa already uses graphene in its own processes. In an ongoing project, among others, MXenes are studied, which are a class of inorganic two-dimensional compounds. They have interesting properties, especially in connection with electrification.

– One result can be a surface treatment that absorbs electromagnetic radiation, Christian Werdinius gives as an example.