The Transmission Electron Microscope

  • David B. Williams
  • C. Barry Carter


A typical commercial transmission electron microscope (TEM) costs about $2 for each electron volt of energy in the beam, and if you add on all the options, it can cost about $4–5 per eV. As you’ll see, we use beam energies in the range from 100,000–400,000 eV, so a TEM becomes an extremely expensive piece of equipment. Consequently, there have to be very sound scientific reasons for investing such a large amount of money in one microscope. In this chapter (which is just a brief overview of many of the concepts that we’ll talk about in detail throughout the book) we start by introducing you to some of the historical development of the TEM because the history is intertwined with some of the reasons why you need to use a TEM to characterize materials. Other reasons for using TEM appeared as the instrument developed. Unfortunately, coupled with the advantages are some serious drawbacks, which limit the microscope performance, and you must be just as aware of the instrument’s limitations as you are of its advantages, so we summarize these also.


Transmission Electron Microscope Transmission Electron Microscope Image Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope Beam Damage Microscopy Society 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



  1. Amelinckx, S., Gevers, R., and Van Landuyt, J., Eds. (1978) Diffraction and Imaging Techniques in Material Science,1 and 2, 2nd edition North-Holland, New York. A collection of excellent individual review articles.Google Scholar
  2. Cowley, J.M., Ed. (1992) Electron Diffraction Techniques, 1 and 2, Oxford University Press, New York. Another collection of excellent individual review articles.Google Scholar
  3. Edington, J.W. (1976) Practical Electron Microscopy in Materials Science,Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York. The original out-of-print 1976 edition has been reprinted by TechBooks, 4012 Williamsburg Court, Fairfax, Virginia 22032. It is an essential text, if somewhat outdated.Google Scholar
  4. Goodhew, P.J. and Humphreys, F.J. (1988) Electron Microscopy and Analysis, 2nd edition, Taylor and Francis, New York. A succinct summary of SEM, TEM, and AEM.Google Scholar
  5. Hall, C.E. (1953) Introduction to Electron Microscopy, McGraw-Hill, New York. A wonderful but nowadays neglected book. The level is very close to this text. Historically minded students will enjoy the Preface.Google Scholar
  6. Hawkes, P.W. and Kasper, E. (1989, 1994) Principles of Electron Optics,1–3, Academic Press, New York. 1900 pages, comprehensive but advanced. The third volume deals with many aspects of imaging in the TEM, simulation, and processing with -118 pages of TEM references. An exceptional modern resource.Google Scholar
  7. Heidenreich, R.D. (1964) Fundamentals of Transmission Electron Microscopy, Interscience Publisher, New York. Another wonderful but sometimes forgotten classic.Google Scholar
  8. Hirsch, P. B., Howie, A., Nicholson, R.B., Pashley, D.W., and Whelan, M.J. (1977) Electron Microscopy of Thin Crystals, 2nd edition, Krieger, Huntington, New York. For many years, the “Bible” for TEM users!Google Scholar
  9. Loretto, M.H. (1994) Electron Beam Analysis of Materials, 2nd edition, Chapman and Hall, New York. A concise overview of the subject.Google Scholar
  10. McLaren, A.C. (1991) Transmission Electron Microscopy of Minerals and Rocks, Cambridge University Press, New York. Invaluable for the geologist or ceramist.Google Scholar
  11. Reimer, L. (1993) Transmission Electron Microscopy; Physics of Image Formation and Microanalysis, 3rd edition, Springer-Verlag, New York. Essential reference text. Strong physics background required.Google Scholar
  12. Sarikaya, M., Ed. (1992) Resolution in the Microscope, Ultramicroscopy,47. Actually, a collection of reviews which all concern resolution in different instruments.Google Scholar
  13. Sawyer, L.C. and Grubb, D.T. (1987) Polymer Microscopy, Chapman and Hall, New York. A broad-based qualitative introduction to TEM and SEM of polymers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Thomas, G. (1962) Transmission Electron Microscopy of Metals, Wiley, New York. A historical volume—the first hands-on book for the materials scientist.Google Scholar
  15. Thomas, G. and Goringe, M.J. (1979) Transmission Electron Microscopy of Metals, Wiley, New York. Invaluable for classical imaging and diffraction topics. The original out-of-print 1979 edition has been reprinted by TechBooks, 4012 Williamsburg Court, Fairfax, Virginia 22032.Google Scholar
  16. von Heimendahl, M. (1980) Electron Microscopy of Materials, Academic Press, New York. An introductory-level text, no significant AEM or HRTEM component.Google Scholar
  17. Watt, I.M. (1985) The Principles and Practice of Electron Microscopy, Cambridge University Press, New York. A basic, practical introduction to SEM and TEM.Google Scholar
  18. Wenk, H.-R. (1976) Electron Microscopy in Mineralogy, Springer-Verlag, New York. Required reading for microscopy of geological or ceramic materials.Google Scholar
  19. Williams, D.B. (1987) Practical Analytical Electron Microscopy in Materials Science, 2nd edition, Philips Electron Optics Publishing Group, Mahwah, New Jersey. A basic introduction to AEM. The original out-of-print 1987 edition has been reprinted by TechBooks, 4102 Williamsburg Court, Fairfax, Virginia 22032.Google Scholar
  20. Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics,Academic Press, New York; formerly Advances in Optical and Electron Microscopy.Google Scholar
  21. Journal of Microscopy,Blackwell Science, Oxford, United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  22. Microscopy and Microanalysis,Springer, New York (formerly Journal of the Microscopy Society of America,Jones and Begell Publishing, Boston.)Google Scholar
  23. Microscopy, Microanalysis, Microstructure (formerly Journal de Microscopie et Spectroscopie Electronique),Les Editions de Physique, Les Ulis Cedex A, France.Google Scholar
  24. Microscopy Research and Technique (formerly Journal of Electron Microscopy Technique),Wiley-Liss, New York.Google Scholar
  25. Ultramicroscopy,Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.Google Scholar
  26. International Congress for Electron Microscopy—every four years (1994).Google Scholar
  27. European Electron Microscopy Congress—every four years (1996). Microscopy Society of America, San Francisco Press, San Francisco—annual.Google Scholar
  28. Microbeam Analysis Society, VCH, Deerfield Beach, Florida. From 1996, San Francisco Press, San Francisco—annual.Google Scholar
  29. Electron Microscopy and Analysis, Institute of Physics, Bristol, United Kingdom—odd years (1995).Google Scholar
  30. Scanning Electron Microscopy, Scanning Microscopy International, AMF O’Hare, Illinois—annual.Google Scholar
  31. Fischbeck, H.J. and Fischbeck, K.H. (1987) Formulas, Facts and Constants,2nd edition, Springer-Verlag, New York. An invaluable reference. SI units are described in Chapter 2. Relevant equations in Gaussian units are related to SI units on page 127.Google Scholar
  32. Jackson, A.G. (1991) Handbook for Crystallography for Electron Microscopists and Others, Springer-Verlag, New York. Ideal for the microscopist, but see the review by A. Eades (Microsc. Res. Technique 21, 368 ).Google Scholar
  33. CBE, Council of Biology Editors (1994) Scientific Style and Format, 6th edition, Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  34. Cosslett, V.E. (1979) The Cosslett Festschrift, J. Microsc. 117, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Davisson, G. and Germer, L.H. (1927) Phys. Rev. 30, 705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. de Broglie, L. (1925) Ann. de Physiques 3, 22.Google Scholar
  37. Ewald, P.P. (1962) Fifty Years of X-ray Diffraction, International Union of Crystallography, Reidel, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  38. Fujita, H. (1986) History of Electron Microscopes, Business Center for Academic Societies, Japan.Google Scholar
  39. Goodman, P. (1981) Fifty Years of Electron Diffraction, International Union of Crystallography, Utrecht.Google Scholar
  40. Hashimoto, H. (1986) J. Electron Microsc. Tech. 3, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hawkes, P.W., Ed. (1985) The Beginnings of Electron Microscopy, Advances in Electronics and Electron Physics, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  42. Hayes, T.L. (1980) SEM-1980 1, 1 ( Ed. O. Johari), SEM Inc., AMF O’Hare, Illinois.Google Scholar
  43. Head, A.K., Humble, P., Clarebrough, L.M., Morton, A.J., and Forwood, C.T. (1973) Computed Electron Micrographs and Defect Identification, North-Holland, New York.Google Scholar
  44. Heidenreich, R.D. (1949) J. Appl. Phys. 20, 993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Joy, D.C. (1995) Monte Carlo Modeling for Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  46. Knoll, M. and Ruska, E. (1932) Z. Physik 78, 318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kossel, W. and Möllenstedt, G. (1939) Ann. Phys. 36, 113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Marton, L. (1994) Early History of the Electron Microscope, 2nd edition, San Francisco Press, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  49. Ruska, E. (1980) The Early Development of Electron Lenses and Electron Microscopy (Trans. T. Mulvey), S. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  50. Spence, J.C.H. and Zuo, J.M. (1992) Electron Microdiffraction, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  51. Thompson, G.P. and Reid, A. (1927) Nature 119, 890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Williams
    • 1
  • C. Barry Carter
    • 2
  1. 1.Lehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  2. 2.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations