Material Analysis Microscopes

Materials analysis requires microscope solutions for the imaging, measurement, and analysis of features across a variety of materials like metal alloys, semiconductors, glass and ceramics, as well as plastics and polymers. These material analysis microscopes are important for different industrial applications, whether in quality control, failure analysis, or research and development.

In some cases, not only the morphology or appearance of the material must be analyzed, but also the chemical composition. A 2-methods-in-1 solution is an optical microscope combined with laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). It enables the simultaneous visual and chemical analysis of materials with one instrument, meaning more relevant data is obtained rapidly, accurately, and reliably. With a 2-in-1 solution, the workflow for materials analysis becomes more efficient.

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What kinds of materials and samples can you visualize and examine with a materials analysis microscope solution?

You can use a material analysis microscope to visualize the fine details and examine the features of a material sample at high resolution. Just about any type of solid-state material can be visualized and examined with a microscope, but often these are alloys, semiconductors, ceramics, and polymers.

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For which applications is a materials analysis microscope solution used?

Material analysis microscopes are used for a variety of applications which require materials analysis and inspection. Examples include quality control (QC), research and development (R&D), technical cleanliness, and failure analysis (FA) across industries and fields like automotive, aerospace, alloys, semiconductors, electronics, medical devices, earth science, forensics, chemical engineering, and pharmaceutical science.

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What is the difference between a conventional microscope and 2-methods-in-1 materials analysis solution?

An optical microscope uses only optics with an objective lens, eyepieces, etc. for imaging a sample. A 2-methods-in-1 solution uses both optics to visualize a sample and a laser and detector for LIBS spectroscopy to analyze the sample’s chemical composition. Microscopy combined with laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) enables a more streamlined, efficient materials analysis.

Material Analysis Microscopes

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Emspira Cleanliness analysis system

Cleanliness Analysis Systems

Cleanliness analysis systems with optimized software and a unique 2-methods-in-1 solution for visual and chemical analysis.

LAS X Materials Science Modules

Advanced software modules for metallography and materials analysis

Materials Science and Inspection

A high-quality microscope is important for manufacturers and scientists who need to achieve fast, reliable, and accurate materials analysis and inspection for alloys, semiconductors, ceramics, and polymers in the areas of quality control (QC), failure analysis (FA), and research and development (R&D). Simultaneous visual and chemical analysis is also possible with a 2-methods-in-1 solution when analyzing and inspecting materials, such as for automotive components and printed circuit boards.

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Metallography and Metallurgy

From the examination of non-metallic inclusions in steel to grain and phase analysis needs, high-performance microscopes for materials analysis help manufacturers develop rapidly and reliability alloys with the desired properties. Flexible and affordable materials analysis microscope solutions lower costs via efficient acquisition of statistically meaningful data for continuous optimization of workflows and production processes.

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Technical Cleanliness Analysis

Cleanliness analysis is key for assuring product quality and performance in the automotive and electronics industries. A  material analysis microscope solution is critical for cleanliness analysis and the characterization of particulate contamination. Obtaining also the composition information makes the identification of particles and then finding the source of contamination even more efficient.

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Pharmaceutical Chemical Engineering Research

Pharmaceutical and chemical products must have very low levels of particulate contamination. A material analysis microscope solution can enable fast and reliable characterization of particles in non-regulated environments. Additionally, a 2-methods-in-1 solution with simultaneous visual and chemical analysis can be useful for contamination identification and root cause analysis in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Forensic Science

Examination of trace evidence, like pieces of glass, metal, paper, and paint is often done for forensic analysis. For efficient and thorough documentation of evidence, a materials analysis microscope solution is very useful.

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Frequently Asked Questions Material Analysis Microscopes

A 2-methods-in-1 material analysis solution or LIBS microscope combines optics and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for simultaneous visual and chemical analysis of materials. For more information, please refer to the article:

The material analysis microscopes are modular and shipped in the configuration that best fits your stated needs or application. In case your needs change later, you can always get in contact with your local Leica sales representative to ask about upgrades for your microscope.

There are a lot of accessories. Please get in contact with your local Leica sales representative.

Related Articles

Read our latest articles about Material Analysis Microscopes

The knowledge portal of Leica Microsystems offers scientific research and teaching material on the subjects of microscopy. The content is designed to support beginners, experienced practitioners and scientists alike in their everyday work and experiments.


Type of contamination: spores

Cleanliness Analysis for Particulate Contamination

Devices, products, and their components fabricated in many industries can be quite sensitive to contamination and, as a result, have stringent requirements for technical cleanliness. Measurement…
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Multiple particles seen on a filter imaged with a microscope

Improving the Cleanliness Analysis Workflow

For automotive manufacturers and automotive component suppliers, obtaining cleanliness results rapidly, accurately, and reliably over the entire workflow is a significant advantage. Often for this…
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Keeping Particulate Contamination Under Control in Pharmaceutical Products

This article describes how a 2-methods-in-1 solution combining optical microscopy and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) can be utilized for identification of particulate contaminants in the…
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Fast Visual and Chemical Analysis of Contamination and Underlying Layers

Visual and chemical analysis of contamination on materials with a 2-methods-in-1 solution leading to an efficient, more complete analysis workflow is described in this report. A 2-in-1 solution,…
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Depth Profiling and Layer Analysis for Inspection of Materials with a 2-In-1 Solution Combining Optical Microscopy and Laser Spectroscopy

In addition to simultaneous visual and chemical inspection, a 2-methods-in-1 materials analysis solution, which combines optical microscopy and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), can also be…
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Performing Elemental Analysis down to the Micro Scale

If you work in electronic component analysis, you will be familiar with the many challenges posed. Whether you are identifying metallic particles or checking product authenticity, it’s important to…
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Introduction to Ion Beam Etching with the EM TIC 3X

In this article you can learn how to optimize the preparation quality of your samples by using the ion beam etching method with the EM TIC 3X ion beam milling machine. A short introduction of the…
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Visual and Chemical Analysis of Steel Microstructure: Faster Rating of Steel Quality

Simultaneous visual and chemical analysis of steel non-metallic inclusions with a 2-methods-in-1 solution, using optical microscopy and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), is described in…
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Workflow Solutions for Industrial Research

This brochure presents and explains appropriate workflow solutions for the most frequently required sample preparation methods for material science samples.
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Rate the Quality of Your Steel: Free Webinar and Report

This webinar and report describe optimal microscopy solutions for rating steel quality in terms of non-metallic inclusions and reviews the various international and regional standards concerning…
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Simplify and speed up element analysis at the micron range

Learn how to get spatially resolved information about the chemical composition of elements in seconds - quickly and easily.
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Key Factors for Efficient Cleanliness Analysis

In the automobile industry, even the smallest particles on single components can cause malfunctioning. Fuel, lubricant and urea filter systems are particularly vulnerable. Component cleanliness has…
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Metallography – an Introduction

This article gives an overview of metallography and metallic alloy characterization. Different microscopy techniques are used to study the alloy microstructure, i.e., microscale structure of grains,…
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3-Dimensional Imaging of Macroscopic Defects in Aluminum Alloys

The investigation of macroscale defects in aluminum (Al) alloys with a rapid 3-dimensional (3D) imaging approach is described in this report. Aluminum (Al) alloys play an important role in the…
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Cleanliness Analysis with a 2-methods-in-1 solution

This report explains how a 2-in-1 materials analysis solution, combining optical microscopy and chemical analysis by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), leads to an overall more efficient and…
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How to Adapt Grain Size Analysis of Metallic Alloys to Your Needs

Metallic alloys, such as steel and aluminum, have an important role in a variety of industries, including automotive and transportation. In this report, the importance of grain size analysis for alloy…
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See the Structure with Microscopy - Know the Composition with Laser Spectroscopy

The advantages of a 2-in-1 materials analysis solution combining optical microscopy and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for simultaneous visual and chemical inspection are described in…
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Leica is MAD about LIBS

When analyzing material for cleanliness testing, users normally just want a simple way to know whether the particle under scrutiny is normal debris or something more risky. Users can now “LIBS” it to…
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