Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) is a technique that is used to identify asbestos fibers in bulk and air samples. TEM analyzes the samples at high magnification and helps identify asbestos fibers by the crystalline structure, as well as morphology and elemental analysis. The method utilizes electrons to provide crucial information about the sample being investigated. At Iris Environmental Laboratories, we offer professional TEM asbestos and mold lab testing services at the most competitive rates.

transmission electron microscopy

Understanding Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

In 1931, Ernst Ruska assisted by Max Knolls, developed the first electron microscope, a TEM. Ruska made significant improvements on the magnification quality of the microscope and this made it easier for him to view and study organisms at deeper lengths. Transmission electron microscopy operates in a similar manner as an optical microscope; the only difference being that in a TEM, electromagnetic lenses replace glass lenses, electrons in the place of protons and the magnified images are displayed on a screen instead of being viewed via an eyepiece.

In TEM, an electron gun shoots a beam of electrons that are accelerated by the gun and focused into a thin beam by a condenser lens. The electrons pass through an ultra-thin specimen where an objective lens focuses the part of the beam emitted from the sample into an image. it is important to note that in order to obtain a correct TEM analysis, the study samples need to possess certain properties:

lab test

Being thin enough to allow electrons to pass through

Can withstand the vacuum chamber that allows electrons to move about freely

A major advantage of TEM is that the technique can positively identify asbestos, differentiating it from other fibers by scanning for its elemental and morphology composition.

Why Do You Need Transmission Electron
Microscopy (TEM) Services?

If you want to know the amount of asbestos in a suspect material, it is highly recommended that you run a transmission electron microscopy lab test. This will help you know if the asbestos fiber content is within the limits recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. One of the main advantages that TEM has over the optical microscope is that TEM provides magnificent resolution of the structure of a specimen and it magnifies the specimen to a higher degree as compared to an optical microscope.

While PLM analysis is commonly performed on non-friable and fine grained materials such as floor tiles and dust, the EPA method recognizes that PLM is subject to limitations. In these situations, accurate results may only be obtainable through the use of more sophisticated and accurate techniques such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM)

Choose Iris Environmental Laboratories for Professional Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) Services

At Iris Environmental Laboratories, we offer asbestos analysis using the transmission electron microscopy technique. We have been providing mold and asbestos analysis services for close to 20 years. Our laboratory specialists are certified to perform these services that address indoor air quality, asbestos and mold for commercial, private and industrial clients. Our services are affordable and you can rest assured knowing we will work tirelessly to give you the support that you need to curb the asbestos problem.

If you have any inquiries about Iris Environmental Laboratories’ transmission electron microscopyservices, don’t hesitate to contact us today. You may also call us at 1(800) 908-6679 or send an email to

lab test