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See also: Category:SEM

This page was originally created to help me figure out options for buying a SEM for personal use. Since then, it has served best as a magnet for other DIY SEM people to contact me and collaborate with each other. If you have any SEM material (pictures, user manual, schematics, etc) I am very interested. Also feel free to contact me if you are looking for info on a particular model and I'll see what I can dig up

I can be contacted at JohnDMcMaster *at*

SEM model comparison

Also includes links to schematics, manuals, etc

Master SEM list:


  • Gun type
    • WHP: tungsten hairpin
    • CFE: cold field emission
    • TFE: thermally assisted field emission

This was broken up because the large tables were causing server issues

A list of scanning electron microscopes. Some dual beam FIBs are included for now but may eventually be moved to their own page

year reflects earliest reference to that SEM model. When one company has merged with another, the vendor name most associated with that microscope is listed (ie who designed or marketed the system as opposed to who owns the IP 20 years later)

assume list prices are non-inflation adjusted from around year SEM was offered

ask prices were from around 10/05/2013 unless otherwise noted

I've included ultra-high voltage SEMs as well

schematic column marked Yes if at least one schematic from the unit is available (original or reverse engineered)

Some units may be duplicated. When its ambiguous if two units are the same they get two separate rows until can be reasonably proven to be redundant

Document sources can be found in README.txt file in the same directory as the linked document

Misc notes:

  • "1990s…Carl Zeiss and Leica joined to form LEO Electron Microscopy, Inc" [1990s]
  • "1996 Philips bought Electroscan…to form Philips Electroscan" [1990s]
  • 1997: "Philips Electron Optics and a company called FEI merged under the name FEI" [1990s]

Privately owned

List of privately owned SEMs (ie die hard SEMolites that we could probably collaborate with):