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Outline

Introduction
Definition of Terms

Scanning Electron Microscope


Brief History Specifications Preparation of Sample Strengths and Limitations

Applications of Scanning Electron Microscope in Pharmaceuticals References

Definition of Terms
SEM Scanning Electron Microscope Sputter Coating - a gold target is bombarded with heavy gas atoms. Metal atoms ejected from the target by the ionised gas cross the plasma to deposit onto the any surface within the coating unit including the specimen.

History

Max Knoll, who in 1935 obtained an image of silicon steel showing electron channeling contrast

The SEM is an instrument that produces a largely magnified image by using electrons instead of light to form an image.

Principle of SEM
The electron beam follows a vertical path through the microscope, which is held within a vacuum

Principle of SEM
Once the beam hits the sample, electrons and X-rays are ejected from the sample Detectors collect these X-rays, backscattered electrons, and secondary electrons and convert them into a signal Signal is viewed in a television which produces the final image.

Specifications
Magnification: 15x to 200,000x Resolution: 5 nanometers

Sample Preparation
All water must be removed from the samples because the water would vaporize in the vacuum. All metals require no preparation before being used. All non-metals need to be made conductive by covering the sample with a thin layer of conductive material (gold foil). This is done by using a device called a "sputter coater."

Strengths and Limitations

Strengths
Critical in all fields that require

characterization of solid materials. Comparatively easy to operate, with userfriendly "intuitive" interfaces. Require minimal sample preparation. Modern SEMs generate data in digital formats.

Strengths and Limitations

Limitations
Samples must be solid
Must fit into the microscope chamber:

horizontal dimensions and vertical dimensions should not exceed beyond 10 cm and 40 mm, respectively. Samples must be stable in a vacuum on the order of 10-5 - 10-6 Torr.

Applications of SEM in Pharmaceuticals

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) provides a qualitative assessment of powders or compressed dosage forms in terms of:

Size Shape Morphology Porosity Size distribution Crystal form Consistency

Applications of SEM in Pharmaceuticals

This information can be correlated to assess dissolution behavior, bioavailability, and crystalline structure.

Applications of SEM in Pharmaceuticals

Particle Contamination

Applications of SEM in Pharmaceuticals

Particle Contamination

Applications of SEM in Pharmaceuticals

Identification of Trace Metals

Applications of SEM in Pharmaceuticals

Product Defect Analysis

Applications of SEM in Pharmaceuticals

Reverse Engineering

References
http://www.intertek.com/analysis/microscopy/

sem/ http://www.fei.com/uploadedfiles/documents/ content/2006_06_quanta_pharma_pb.pd http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding /2012/AY/C2AY25031D#!f

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