Three-dimensional characterization of drug-encapsulating particles using STEM detector in FEG-SEM

Zahava Barkay*, Ilia Rivkin, Rimona Margalit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


New drug-encapsulating particles were investigated using bright field (BF) scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) in a field emission gun (FEG) scanning electron microscope (SEM). Thickness characterization was done based on measuring the effective cross-section for interaction in our sample-detector configuration using calibration particles. A simplified analytical model, taking account of BF-STEM contrast and effective cross-section for interaction, was utilized for transforming projected two-dimensional BF-STEM images into three-dimensional thickness images. The three-dimensional characterization is demonstrated on a new family of biological materials composed of submicron to micron drug-free and drug-encapsulating particles. The importance of using BF-STEM in SEM, relative to other electron microscopy methods, is discussed as well as the lateral and depth resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-485
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Drug-encapsulating particles
  • Low energy STEM
  • Mass-thickness contrast
  • SEM


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