Meaningful colorization of Scanning Electron Microscope images

by Amber Lauer-Coles

Because color is an optical property, SEM images are essentially black and white. Other information that is unavailable from simple optical methods, such as elemental constituency, can be gained from SEM, which makes it alternatively useful in addition to simple magnification. Some published images are colorized, however. Often this is done using commercial image programs with single color painting. While it is aesthetically attractive, this reveals nothing about the sample. Other methods, such as the one employed in these images involves a more complicated method which, in addition to being even more visually exciting, inherently contains empirical information about the sample. Also it looks COOL! These images were all taken on the JEOL 6300F except for the screw.