SEM-EDS Microplastics image library

Published: 15 August 2023| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/m2mttjjt8g.2
Anabel Saran


This work present SEM-EDS characterisation of Microplastics. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) can give fast information of morphology, ageing, and origin of the examined samples as it provides high-resolution data of surface state and the qualitative information about the chemical composition (by EDS). The microplastics observed were rich in C, Fe, Si, Al and Co. Cracks, polymer blends and overlays were identified.


Steps to reproduce

Microplastics were placed on a sample holder, in carbon conductive tape. Images were taken using different accelerating voltage of 5, 10 and 15kV with Phenom™ ProX Desktop SEM, Thermofisher. EDS (energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction) detection was performed to analyze element composition. Then, to correct the scattering due to surface gloss of microplastics, samples were coated 30 seg with a 15 nm gold layer.


Universiteit Hasselt - Campus Diepenbeek


Polymer, Microscopy


Universiteit Hasselt

BOF 2022 – Bilateral Scientific Cooperation (R-12630)