transmission electron microscopy abbr., TEM (rus. микроскопия, электронная просвечивающая otherwise трансмиссионная электронная микроскопия abbr., ПЭМ) — a microscopy technique whereby a beam of electrons transmitted through a sample is used to generate a magnified image or a diffraction pattern.


Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is generally used to observe samples thinner than 500 nm (often thinner than 100-200 nm). The thinner the sample, the higher the electron beam accelerating voltage is required. TEM usually offers a resolution of several dozen nanometres, but some modifications of the TEM technique allow resolutions of 0.2 nm. The use of special spherical aberration correctors enables an increase in resolution to as much as 0.05 nm. These modifications are often regarded as an independent technique named high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HREM, HRTEM).

An electron microscope equipped with additional detectors allows various methods of microanalysis of samples, such as electron energy loss spectroscopy, electron probe microanalysis, etc.

See also electron microscopy; transmission electron microscope.


  • Zotov Andrey V.
  • Saranin Alexander A.


  1. Terminology for nanoscale measurement and instrumentation, PAS133:2007. — BSI (British standart), 2007.

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