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Seiryuu's avatar

Is there a difference in resolution between SEM and TEM microscopes?

Asked by Seiryuu (254points) September 13th, 2012

Today in my biology class we got into a discussion as to which has better resolution between transmission electron microscopes and scanning electron microscopes. I’m inclined to believe that transmission electron microscopes have higher resolution as the ribosomes on the rough endoplasmic reticulum can be seen. Could anyone help clarify this?

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4 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

Yep, TEMs have a resolution of about .02nm. SEMs are limited to about 10 nm (source).

BhacSsylan's avatar

Yeah, as @thorninmud said, the resolutions are quite different. TEM can also do some very fancy tricks to see more information, as well (such as analyzing thousands of images to generate 3-D structures). The flip side is the SEM can take much prettier pictures.

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