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Quattro ESEM for Materials Science

Ultra-versatile high-resolution SEM with unique environmental capability.

The Thermo Scientific™ Quattro ESEM combines all-around performance in imaging and analytics with a unique environmental mode (ESEM™) that allows samples to be studied in their natural state. It is ideal for a wide variety of academic, industrial, and government labs that want the versatility and ease-of-use needed for multiple users of different experience levels and disciplines on a platform that also supports unique in situ experiments. Quattro’s field emission gun (FEG) ensures excellent resolution, while its three vacuum modes (high vacuum, low vacuum, and ESEM) provide the flexibility to accommodate the widest range of samples of any SEM available, including samples that are outgassing or otherwise not vacuum-compatible.

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High-Performance Versatility

The Quattro ESEM is the ultimate analytical platform, thanks to its chamber that allows for a range of accessories. Analytical capabilities include energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) with ports for 180-degree dual EDS attachment, electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) coplanar with EDS, and wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (WDS).

The Quattro ESEM supports an optional High Vacuum Heating Stage, AutoScript, a Python-based scripting tool and a new RGB cathodoluminescence (CL) detector. The RGB CL detector produces color images highlighting sample properties not visible with conventional electron or X-ray imaging techniques. The High Vacuum Heating Stage allows for clean sample observations at high temperature. With AutoScript, users can program imaging and stage movements for unattended data acquisition.

Defects in glass due to the reduction of silica glass in silicon and the relative oxidation of metals (Fe, Cu, and others) in their corresponding oxides. Sample courtesy of Stazione Sperimentale del Vetro, Murano Venezia, Italy.



CaCu3Ti4O12 (CCTO) is a compound with an extraordinarily high dielectric constant. Sample courtesy of Mr Sylvain Marinel, CRISMAT laboratory, France.

Quattro ESEM applications include:


  • Metals and alloys, fractures, welds, polished sections, magnetic and superconducting materials
  • Ceramics, composites, plastics
  • Films/coatings
  • Geological sections, minerals
  • Soft materials: polymers, pharmaceuticals, filters, gels, tissues, plant material
  • Particles, porous materials, fibers 

Characterization in situ

  • Crystallization/phase transformation
  • Oxidation, catalysis
  • Material growth
  • Hydration/dehydration/wetting/contact angle analysis
  • Tensile (with heating or cooling)

Dynamic in situ experiments

Quattro’s versatility makes it well-suited to broad range of topics in materials science. It is equally adept at performing conventional high-resolution SEM imaging/analysis and dynamic in situ experiments. It allows researchers to study the widest range of samples in their natural state for the most accurate information about structure and composition.


Quattro allows the study of samples at 100% humidity, such as these pollen grains, in ESEM mode.

Salt crystals dissolving and recrystallizing as water is either condensing or evaporating in ESEM mode.

Unique Environmental Mode

Quattro’s environmental SEM (ESEM) capability allows scientists to study materials in a range of conditions, such as wet/humid, hot, or reactive environments, as they develop new materials and products for a myriad of disciplines, including construction, automotive, packaging, coatings and energy. Quattro’s unique ability to study the progress of chemical reactions, such as oxidation, corrosion, etching, crystal growth, and catalysis, can have a big impact on science and the environment.

Featured Document

Investigating fully hydrated samples using ESEM Technology Application Note

Download the application note and learn how ESEM technology expands the boundaries of traditional scanning electron microscopy, adding variables such as hydration, thermal cycling, and introduction of gas, to characterize in situ dynamic changes of your materials.

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