What are WETSEMTM Technology and QX-202C capsules?
WETSEMTMTechnology is a novel, breakthrough technology
enabling the imaging of fully wet samples in a scanning electron microscope
(SEM). The technology provides an opportunity to study samples in
the SEM, which are isolated from the SEM's vacuum chamber in terms
of pressure and humidity.
The QX-202C capsule is a product based on WETSEMTM Technology
which is designed specifically for the imaging of dynamic hydration
processes such as the curing of cementitious systems.
The QX-202C capsule enables the user to follow, in-situ, the dynamics
of a reaction, by creating a sequence of SEM images which reflects
the structural development of the sample.
For specific information for which answers do not appear on this
page please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who could benefit from the use of the QX-202C capsules?
Any laboratory studying time dependant processes such as the curing
process of cementitious or gypsum systems can obtain valuable information
by using the capsules.
- What type of samples is the QX-202C intended for?
The QX-202C capsules are intended for use with cementitious and
other systems involving a dynamic hydration process. For more information
please contact email@example.com.
are the advantages of WETSEMTM over E-SEM preparation techniques?
WETSEMTM Technology can be applied in any SEM and does
not require a special system (e.g. E-SEM, low-vac, variable pressure
WETSEMTM Technology enables the imaging of dynamic hydration
processes in their native environment. The sample is sealed in the
ambient environment. The pressure, temperature and humidity conditions
it is under, and its water content do not change when it is placed
in the SEM vacuum chamber.
Imaging with WETSEMTM Technology does not require a cooling
stage, and the temperature of the sample remains close to ambient
The curing process proceeds in the SEM vacuum chamber with minimal
intervention - water/cement ratio does not change and imaging is not
limited to the layer which is above water level. In this way samples
can be probed frequently, and the true dynamics of the process can
be studied in-situ.
In addition, WETSEMTM Technology is very easy to use,
and does not require the operator's skill and experience that E-SEM
are the advantages of WETSEMTM over cryo-SEM techniques?
By avoiding the need to freeze samples, it becomes possible to conduct
"in-situ" studies. WETSEMTM Technology creates the possibility
to image and study a full process rather than intermittent results.
It enables the user to prepare a single sample and follow its development
rather than deduce what the development process is from a jigsaw of
several independent samples.
If samples are also being freeze-fractured, results will normally
be obtained from the least cohesive plane - the plane where the fracture
occurred. Using WETSEMTM Technology, the plane observed
will not be dependant on forces, internal or external, which are applied
on the sample.
Preparing WETSEMTM samples is quick and easy and takes
only a few minutes, saving time and effort.
I am using calorimetry to study the early stages of cement hydration.
Why would I need WETSEMTM as well?
WETSEMTM is a complementary method to calorimetry as
well as to other analytical techniques such as XRD. While calorimetry
provides information about the heat evolution during hydration, and
XRD provides phase composition data, WETSEMTM provides
insight on the morphology of the developing phases and their elemental
I need a special SEM in order to use WETSEM™ Technology?
QX-202C capsules are the small devices in which wet cementitious
samples can be placed and observed. The capsules fit in almost all
of the currently available SEM models. Imaging is normally done in
a high vacuum environment, but can also be performed in other environments
(variable pressure, low-vac or E-SEM).
For best results a back-scattered detector should be used. If a
back-scattered detector is not part of your system, please consult
your local distributor or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I be able to obtain information about the material constituents of my
For best results, one needs to use WETSEM™ Technology in conjunction
with a backscattered electron detector. Thus, the images obtained
will correspond mainly to the average atomic number of the constituents
of the sample.
it possible to apply EDS when using the QX-202C capsules?
Yes. The electron-transparent membrane which is the heart of the
WETSEM™ Technology is also transparent to X-rays, making it possible
to obtain qualitative EDS spectra of the sample within it.
For how long can I follow a dynamic reaction without removing the QX-202C
capsule from the SEM?
The QX-202C capsules are specifically designed to remain vacuum
tight for long periods of time, and can remain in the SEM chamber,
under high vacuum, for 24 hours or more. Through this whole period
the samples can be continuously imaged
Is it possible to remove a QX-202C capsule from the SEM vacuum chamber
and then re-insert it?
Yes. You can conduct a dynamic study by intermittently imaging a
sample. It is possible to make full use of your SEM by removing the
QX-202C capsule from the SEM in the intervals between one image and
the next and efficiently using this time to image other samples. This
can be done through the whole length of the hydration process and
will not interfere with the dynamics of the process which takes place
inside the isolated capsule.
Do I need to coat the sample prior to WETSEM™ imaging?
When using WETSEM™ Technology there is no need to coat the sample.
The purpose of sputter-coating is to create a conductive layer on
the sample's surface and thus to prevent charging artifacts. With
WETSEM™ Technology the presence of water in the body of the sample
totally eliminates these artifacts.
is the price of the QX-202C capsules?
The QX-202C capsules are supplied in several package sizes. One
of the options is a Starter Kit, designed for first-time users, which
includes all of the required tools and accessories. For details please
contact your local distributor or email@example.com.