CQM - Centro de Química da Madeira





CQM Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

The Scanning Electron Microscopy of the Centro de Química da Madeira (CQM, University of Madeira) main objective is to support research at the Centre, being used as a routine tool for surface characterization of samples by researchers of CQM from the following national R&D projects; Post-Doc, PhD and Biochemistry (BSc and MSc) and Nanochemistry and Nanomaterials (MSc) students. Furthermore, the CQM SEM is open to external service (private or other public institutions).


Scanning Electron Microscopy Technique

In the SEM technique, a focused electron beam causes electron emissions that are measured and spatially imaged. It is commonly used in materials, chemistry and biochemistry for the structural characterization of surfaces; topography and/or quantification of chemical compounds.


Analytical services

  • Secondary electron imaging
  • Backscattered electron imaging
  • Elemental analysis including X-ray mapping
  • Particle counting and sizing
  • Fiber analysis
  • 3D roughness reconstruction
  • Specialized sample preparation



The possibility of direct observation of structures trough scanning electron microscopy allows and important correlation between processing and properties of materials. The study of the nature of material’s surfaces is relevant for natural products, nanomaterials and many scientific disciplines such as medicine, environment, microelectronics, or mechanical engineering, because many properties of materials are determined precisely by their surfaces and interfaces.

The SEM is routinely used to generate high-resolution images of object’s shapes and to show spatial variations in chemical compositions.

If you are not affiliated with CQM/UMa and would like to perform SEM characterization, please contact us ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and check the pricing.


SEM equipment

The equipment is installed in CQM/UMa under its strategic funding - Project reference: UID/QUI/00674/2013.

Unit Manager (UM): João Rodrigues

Unit Technician (UT): Carla Miguel


Type of equipment

Bench SEM Microscope Phenom - Pro X

Scanning electron Microscope with qualitative and quantitative analysis of the sample chemical composition by EDS (Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy).

EDS specifications

Range of detected elements: from Boron (Z=5) to Americium (Z=95)


- Silicon Drift Detector (SDD)
- Cooled by Peltier effect



Optical - magnification: 20-135x

Electronic - Magnification: 80-135 000x



Optical - LEDs

Electronic - CeB6 thermionic source ("Gun"). Voltage: 5, 10 and 15 KV adjustable from 4.8 KV in steps of 1 KV. Resolution=<10nm at 10 KV.


Detectors of image



  • BSD (high sensitivity backscattered electrons detector)
  • SED (secondary electron detector)



  • Rotary knob
  • Sample holders
    • standard [Máximum sample size: 25mm (Ø) x 30mm (height)]
    • with charge reduction [ Máximum sample size: 25mm (Ø) x 30mm (height)]
    • with temperature control [Máximum sample size: 25mm (Ø) x 5mm (height)]
  • Keypad controller



  • Windows 7 PRO LCP
  • ProSuite image acquisition, processing and analysis


Infrastructure Requirements

  • Power Supply
  • Pre-Vacuum pump
  • Chiller Unit






- SEM of Centro de Química da Madeira.

Price List

Scanning Electron Microscopy Service

The price of services provided is divided into three classes, namely:

  1. National Centers FCT
  2. Regional and National Public Laboratories
  3. Companies and Laboratories or private Research Centers

The user fees are intended to cover CQM SEM expenses (consumables, parts, maintenance...). Minimum time 1 hour.

Choose the class that are best suited to your case or consult us using the address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Class 1

Class 2

Class 3

Analytical services (€/h)




Specialized sample preparation




(prices: VAT not included)

Submit Sample

Regulation of access and use of the SEM equipment / Users' Rights and Duties

- The right to use the equipment, complying with the established rules, in accordance with the terms approved by the Center;

- The Center is responsible for damages and / or malfunctions in the equipment that is affected by it, if not covered by the warranty and insurance;

- Duty to provide the guarantees, when required, to safeguard the damages and / or faults in the equipment;

- Keep the equipment in good working order.


Management of the equipment and organization

Unit Technician (member of the center designated by public tender) - UT

Responsibilities - responsible for equipment management.

  • Make semiannual reports on the functioning of the Unit. Send to UM.
  • Responsible for the preparation of the hours of use of the equipment according to the norms of operation of the center
  • Make recommendations to UM about updating or purchasing material in order to ensure an efficient service.

Unit User - UU

Definition - any researcher, Research or Entity group that requires time to use SEM.


  • Complete the sample user / registration form and the equipment log book in accordance with the Center's operating rules.


General Guidelines

These Guidelines are intended to be fair to everyone that uses CQM SEM equipment and as such must be followed by all.

Users that violate these guidelines will be banned from using the microscope.

  • Only authorized users will be granted access to the microscope. In order to be authorized to use the equipment EVERYONE must first receive training even if you are already familiar with the technique. This is to filter out users that might be afraid to say they can't use the equipment.
  • New users must register requesting, to the UM, the user login/password and fill a proper user registration form/sample data (view form). Be advised that your supervisor has to be informed of your SEM registration in advance. E-mail for queries:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
  • Please be responsible and careful. Curiosity is good, but not with an expensive equipment.
  • Remember that your supervisor may have to pay for your usage time. As such you have to PROPERLY register your analysis time on the log book.
  • The final cost of each analysis takes into account the: maintenance costs, analysis type, total user time and user type (academic or industrial). For details about prices and charges applied, check our price table.
  • If there is a reservation made YOU HAVE TO RESPECT IT, even if it is an emergency. Don't start an analysis unless there is enough time to finish it before the next person. In the same manner, DO NOT schedule an analysis just moments before you need, plan your time properly or wait for an opening. For more information on time reservation, please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • SEM samples must be properly labeled, and should be removed from the SEM sample holder after the analysis is finished. Unlabeled samples will be disposed.
  • ALWAYS register your work in the Logbook.
  • Report in the Logbook, any problem with the equipment or software and inform the UT as soon as possible (personally or by email).
Copyright © 2017 Centro de Química da Madeira. All Rights Reserved. - FCT ref. CHEM-Madeira-Funchal-674 | Projeto UID/QUI/00674/2013