Nanofiber Characterization with Electron Microscopy

Extruded fibers used for nonwoven textiles are found in many consumer products, including filters, wipes, automotive components, upholstery, sports apparel, roofing materials, bedding, fiberglass boats, surgical gowns, and diapers. Fabrics, filtration, medical scaffolds, fuel cells, insulation and other applications now include nanofibers for improved product performance.

Whether nanofibers are manufactured using melt blown, spunbond, forcespinning, electrospinning or other technology, imaging and analyses require greater resolution than traditional fibers. Instead of an optical microscope, a scanning electron microscope (SEM) is needed to measure nanofiber diameter and pore distributions. 


SEM images of spunbond (left) and electrospun (right) nanofibers

Spun_bond_fibers.pngPolyamide fibers made by electrospinning from DSM Ahead


Benefits of the Phenom SEM for Fiber Analysis

The SEM combines high contrast imaging, broad depth of field and high spatial resolution to examine and characterize features at the nanofiber scale. Nanofiber images are quickly acquired thanks to the accessibility and intuitive interface of the Phenom SEM.

Optical and SEM images of the same region highlighting the depth of field and resolution benefits of SEM.

PW_optical_image_of_nanofibers.pngPW_SEM_image_of_nanofibers_at_4000x.png


FiberMetric Software for High-throughput Fiber Analysis

The Phenom desktop scanning electron microscope uses FiberMetric, proprietary fiber measurement software, which measures fiber diameter, orientation and pore sizes.

  • Fast fiber analysis
  • Statistically significant data
  • Operator-independent
  • Exportable

Using the integrated motorized XY stage, data acquisition and analysis can easily be automated. This software/hardware combination allows for hundreds of images to be acquired and analyzed, accumulating in tens of thousands of measurements, providing statistically significant data.


 

FiberMetric fiber and pore example

Measure fiber diameters using FiberMetric software for Phenom SEM


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