Glossary of SEM Terms


“Glossary of SEM Terms” has been launched, aiming to assist understanding of the basic technical terms of theories, instrumentation including electron guns, lenses, detectors, chambers, observation and analysis methods, and specimen preparation techniques, for the scanning electron microscope (SEM) field. The initial version of this Glossary contains approximately 50 terms. We continually strive to add other core terms and new terms in considering recent developments in the SEM field. We explain each term in an easy-to-understand manner using illustrations and SEM images. For the terms that are used also in other scientific fields, we focus the explanations in conformity with SEM. For further comprehension, references to textbooks and corresponding literatures are recommended.
We hope that this Glossary of SEM Terms would help better understanding of SEM techniques and its effective use for many SEM users.

Supervised by

Michiyoshi Tanaka
Professor Emeritus at Tohoku University

Created by


Terms are added or updated

  • July 21, 2020
    update osmium staining
  • July 21, 2020
    update ruthenium staining
  • July 21, 2020
    update chromatic aberration
  • July 21, 2020
    update diffraction aberration, diffraction limit
  • July 21, 2020
    update spherical aberration
  • July 21, 2020
    update electron-probe diameter, probe diameter
  • June 19, 2020
    update in-lens objective lens
  • June 19, 2020
    update semi-in-lens objective lens
  • April 08, 2020
    update electron backscatter diffraction, EBSD
  • October 16, 2019
    update windowless detector