Surface Engineering and Microscopy Techniques in Material Science

Classified in Chemistry

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What is Surface Engineering?

Definition: It is the sub-discipline of material science which deals with the surface of solid matter.

Objectives: Involves altering the properties of the surface phase to reduce degradation over time, making it robust to the environment.

Applications: Automotive, aerospace, missile, power, electronic, biomedical, textile, petroleum, chemical, steel, power. Used in almost all types of materials.

Describe SEM and TEM

SEM: Scanning Electron Microscopy images the sample surface by scanning it with a high-energy beam of electrons. Advantages include 3D imaging and greater depth of focus. Disadvantages include low resolution and expensive equipment. Applications include gunshot residue analysis and firearms identification.

TEM: Transmission Electron Microscopy transmits a beam of electrons through an ultra-thin specimen. Advantages include direct imaging of crystalline lattice and delineation of defects. Disadvantages include difficult sample preparation and special training requirements. Applications include manufacturing of computer chips and identifying flaws in micro-sized objects.

What is AES?

AES: Auger Electron Spectroscopy provides quantitative elemental and chemical state information from solid material surfaces. Advantages include high spatial resolution and fast analysis. Limitations include difficulty studying insulators and modest sensitivity. Examples include monitoring surface composition changes in alloys.

Techniques Using Capillaries for Electrochemical Behavior

This technique involves a glass microcapillary filled with electrolyte, mounted on a microscope for precise positioning. Examples include studying electrochemical behavior at the microscale.

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