The FEI Philips XL 40 ESEM is a tungsten source environmental scanning electron microscope capable of high and low vacuum imaging.

Philips XL 40 ESEM


The FEI Philips XL 40 Environmental Scanning Microscope is a large chamber scanning electron microscope capable of imaging hydrated and contaminated samples. Advanced accessories include a thin-window energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) and hot or cold stages. The system is operated via easy-to-use software control using a Windows user interface. The ESEM can be used for organic and inorganic scanning electron analysis.

A close up of the primary ESEM instrument.


Remote Training and Collaboration

  • New laboratory web camera
  • Zoom screen-share abilities from both the microscope control and AzTEC analysis computers
  • Remote technical assistance with Raritan DKX4-101 KVM-over-IP
  • Remote operation with Raritan DKX4-101 KVM-over-IP


  • The NC/VP Materials Characterization Facility is home to the only environmental scanning electron microscope on campus.
  • The instrument is capable of operating in low or high vacuum modes, includes EDAX EDS and both high (1,000 C) and low temperature stages.
  • The large chamber accommodates a variety of specimens and the low vacuum environment can be operated with water vapor or another gas depending upon the requirements of the characterization to be performed.
  • Electron Backscatter Diffraction available now.

Research micrograph in the ESEM system.



Free online eTraining is available for this instrument. This self-paced tutorial and reference content does not replace course requirements for authorized usage.

Available topics related to this instrument:


Michigan Tech offers many undergraduate and graduate courses related to materials characterization.

Some of these courses offers direct, hands-on training in scanning electron microscopy.


Protocols for sample preparation analysis and operation are available in this community wiki environment.