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Phenom Desktop Scanning Electron Microscopes

Scanning Electron Microscopy

Phenom Desktop SEMs

One of the great revolutions in electron microscopy was the miniaturization of scanning electron microscopes from large floor models to compact desktop models. Desktop SEMs, also called tabletop or benchtop SEMs, retain much of the power and capabilities of floor systems while also introducing a versatility of their own, fitting more easily into lab spaces and providing a suite of specialized software analysis tools. These systems prioritize ease of use and are ideal for in-house analysis at multi-user labs where everyone need not be an SEM specialist.

Bright, long-lifetime CeB6 or FEG electron sources for consistent performance and stability

Speed to Data

High sensitivity detectors paired with the fastest vent/load cycle provides an average time-to-image of under 40 seconds


Imaging parameters and microscope functions controlled through a clear and navigable user interface

Low Cost of

Resilient hardware enables low downtime and infrequent source changes, minimizing the overall maintenance cost

See available Configurations

Phenom Desktop SEM Systems

The Phenom desktop scanning electron microscope from ThermoFisher was designed to be the easiest and most intuitive SEM ever built. Advanced electron sources in the form of cerium hexaboride crystals or field emission guns, along with multiple detectors, make it easy to acquire quality data and beautiful images. Imaging and analysis are mere clicks away!

The Phenom Pharos is uniquely equipped with a field emission gun (FEG) and excels in applications demanding high spatial resolution. An unmatched coherent and bright electron beam, low kV accelerating voltage imaging, and automatic drift corrections make the Pharos a competitive alternative to many floor model SEMs.

With the Phenom Pharos STEM detector, transmission imaging becomes more accessible, efficient, and cost-effective. This holder seamlessly adds functionality with its plug-and-play design and intuitive workflow. Switch between SEM and STEM modes, adjust imaging parameters, and acquire high-quality images with just a few clicks.

The Phenom XL has the largest sample capacity of all Phenom instruments, able to contain a high volume of small specimens, a single bulk mass, or anything in between. The XL also serves as the workhorse for an upgradeable automation software package known as ParticleX to push the boundaries of automated electron microscopy.

This variation of the Phenom XL SEM was designed to be used in an argon-filled glovebox to study materials that require non-reactive environmental conditions to prevent sample degradation. The compact footprint, easy workflow, and automation capabilities of the system enable the completion of a full SEM workflow inside a glovebox.

The Phenom Pro and ProX are the ultimate all-in-one SEM imaging systems, differentiated only by the presence of an integrated energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) detector. The unique and powerful core architecture characteristic of the Phenom line combines with a host of data analysis features to provide the most complete desktop SEM solution on the market.

The Phenom Pure is an entry-level, economical desktop SEM useful for many different applications, whether it be in teaching environments, simple R&D, or for general imaging. The Pure provides a straightforward imaging solution to visualize sample features, surfaces, and structures and is a user-friendly tool to seamlessly transition from light optical to electron microscopy.

Automated SEMs allow researchers to surpass the limitations of manual data collection and analysis, offering the capability to automatically scan samples, acquire high-quality images, characterize features, process vast amounts of data, and generate detailed reports. These advanced features open new vistas for research and discovery in diverse fields of science and engineering.

For Phenoms, automation comes in three forms:

  • ParticleX Software:
    Unprecedented levels of automated particle characterization and actionable reporting for high volumes of data 24/7.
  • Python Scripting:
    The freedom to script consistent, repeatable protocols for the SEM to perform using the Phenom Programming Interface.
  • ProSuite Software:
    Programs designed for Phenom to examine a myriad of quantities associated with pores, fibers, particles, and surface roughness.
See Available Detectors

Phenom Desktop SEM Detectors

The backscattered electron detector (BSD) and secondary electron detector (SED) are responsible for detecting electrons resulting from interactions between the electron beam and sample surface. The two detectors collect different signals that convey varying information about atomic numbers and surface topography.

Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) provides semi-quantitative elemental composition information by analyzing the X-rays released from atoms when irradiated with electrons. EDS is a non-destructive method for identifying compounds on micro and nanoscales, displayed through colorized elemental mapping.

Download the Phenom SEM Product Brochure:

Image Analysis

Phenom Prosuite Software

Image analysis software can extract actionable data about the size and shape of features in an SEM image. Developed specifically for the Phenom, ProSuite Software can massively increase data throughput and eliminate the user bias that can skew manual measurements. 

Knowledge base

Phenom SEM Applications

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Desktop SEM vs Floor Model SEM: A Comparison

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Want to learn more? Talk to a scientist:

Phenom SEM

Phenom Model Comparison


Phenom Pharos

Phenom XL

Phenom Pro/ProX

Phenom Pure

Electron Source Field Emission Gun (FEG) CeB6 crystal CeB6 crystal CeB6 crystal
Max. SEM Magnification 2,000,000x 200,000x 350,000x 175,000x
SEM Resolution – BSD 3 nm 10 nm 8 nm 15 nm
SEM Resolution – SED <2 nm 10 nm 6 nm 15 nm
Acceleration Voltages 1 – 20 kV 5 – 20 kV 5 – 20 kV 5 kV or 10 kV
Navigation Camera
Sample Handling Single pin stub
25 mm diameter
Up to 36 pin stubs
100 mm x 100 mm
Single pin stub
25 mm diameter
Single pin stub
25 mm diameter
Detectors BSD – Four-quadrant backscattered electron detector (standard)
SED – Everhart-Thornley secondary electron detector (optional)
EDS/EDX/EDAX – Integrated energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer (optional)

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