ZEISS EVO Solutions for Metals and Alloys

The world is built with steel and metals, which are vital for construction, infrastructure, transportation and communication. Our understanding of metals depends on characterization and measurement of the smallest grains, inclusions and features. Combining powerful scanning electron microscopy with analytical solutions and dedicated software creates excellent images and extracts true knowledge, to research advanced alloys and cleaner processes that meet the construction, mobility and connectivity needs of the twenty first century.

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is a now an essential tool for researchers and routine analysts, but choosing the right configuration and capability, and training users of all skill and experience levels, has always been difficult. Multiple use instruments require flexibility, analytical capability, excellent productivity, reliability and stability. Finding the region of interest has to be fast, and the images you can create must be exceptional to understand the smallest features which make a huge difference to metals’ performance.

ZEISS EVO is the metals industries’ stable, intuitive, uncompromising SEM for research and routine applications. It is easy to buy, easy to train and easy to use. For metals and alloys applications we have created “Solution Bundles” designed for customer workflows. They combine our comprehensive ZEN software ecosystem, with its suite of automation and image analysis tools, with our versatile EVO 10 and EVO 25 platforms for easy productivity and insight. The benefit to our customers is a powerful, productive and easy SEM solution designed specifically for all your imaging and analysis needs.

ZEN Connect Solution Bundle

Connect multiple perspectives of your samples across different imaging techniques and modalities

Often to fully understand your metal and alloys samples, you will need to combine multiple microscopy technologies or SEM modalities. This often includes time-consuming workflows to locate regions of interest for further imaging and analysis.

The ZEN Connect Solution Bundle allows you to connect multiple perspectives of your sample across scales and imaging modalities. ZEN connect Solution Bundle enables you to bring all imaging technologies together – ZEISS or not – to answer your research questions.

The advantages of ZEN Connect in multi-scale and multi-modal characterization workflows for metal and alloys

Easy navigation through the acquisition of low-magnification overview images

  • Image your sample with any low magnification system and use to navigate to your regions of interest (ROIs).

  • Understand your sample through images in context as you zoom in and out of datasets in the correlative workspace.

Overlay and align all your images to produce a contextual sample understanding

  • Load or import any image data.

  • Benefit from connecting complex multi-scale and multi-model data with simple overview data.

Manage your imaging project with Smart Data Management databases

  • All data is saved in a project-based database for intuitive analysis.

  • Search metadata to find images and their connected database.

Application in Focus – Steel

  • In steel quality and control, the control of inclusion size, morphology and distribution is important for optimum mechanical properties. Manganese sulphide inclusions cause anisotropy of steel, thus weakening of its hardness.
  • In this case, the steel had undergone calcium treatment to form calcium sulphide which is much harder than manganese sulphide. Thus, the inclusions remain globular and maintain isotropy of the steel.
  • First, a large scale image is created of the entire specimen from a light microscope. The light microscope data allows for large surface areas to be scanned and inclusions identified on their length and width.
  • Next, the light microscope overview image is connected to the electron microscope images using ZEN Connect. This enables easy navigation to specific inclusions for high resolution imaging.
  • For systems with EDS, EDS maps can be overlaid in context, for chemical composition of inclusions.
  • ZEN Connect enables scientists to analyze their data in a wider context connecting large field of view images with best possible resolution images to understand the inclusions formation.


Step 1. Use your favorite low magnification system to acquire large fields of view.
Step 2. ZEN Connect organizes your images in a well-defined project.
Step 3. Align your high-resolution system to the overview image.
Step 4. Use the overview image to navigate and observe your high-resolution data in context.

Easy navigation with scientific context

ZEN Connect Correlation Solution Bundle

Increasing productivity and ease of use through correlative light and electron microscopy workflows

Once you have identified one region or location of interest using light microscopy, the natural workflow is to move the samples to the SEM to perform higher-resolution imaging or chemical analysis. The challenge and difficulty is relocating this specific region of interest once the sample has been transferred from light microscope to SEM.

Using the ZEN Connect Correlative Solution Bundle, this allows you to directly locate these regions of interest. This correlative workflow enables correlation of stage coordinates to provide a fast and efficient workflow to locate features between instruments.

The advantages of the ZEN Connect Correlation Bundle in improving workflow productivity and ease of use between multiple microscopes

Fast calibration for easy navigation

  • Instead of wasting valuable time relocating regions of interest from microscope to microscope, you can now calibrate and navigate swiftly with only a few mouse clicks.

Correlative samples holder for precise relocations

  • Semi-automatic 3-point calibration of reference markers allow for precise relocation to regions or features of interest.
  • Create correlative data overlays to improve sample understanding and reporting.

Application in Focus – Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI)

  • Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI) is a family of iron-based materials, which among different processes can be obtained by heat treatment (so-called austempering) of nodular cast iron. 
  • Optimizing the austempering process is important as the wear resistance increases through hard precipitates whereas the toughness decreases.
  • For the micro- and nanoscopic analysis of the structure and precipitations, scientists typically use both light and electron microscopes.
  • Correlative microscopy allowed a systematic investigation in the scanning electron microscope (SEM) after being examined in the light microscope for a precise relocation of the (hard) precipitates. 
  • For systems with EDS, EDS maps can be overlaid in context, for chemical composition of precipitates.
  • ZEN connect 2D add-on facilitates the exact relocation of the region of interest in order to avoid time consuming searches.

Automatic calibration of correlative specimen holder, followed by image acquisition and marking of region of interest using motorized light microscope 
Loading the correlative specimen holder into electron microscope for automatic calibration
Automatic relocation of region of interest, followed by high resolution BSE image acquisition & EDS analysis. Finally, overlay over large field of view light microscope image

ZEN Analyzer & Image Analysis Solution Bundle

Automated, high-throughput and repeatable image segmentation and analysis offline

To characterize metal and alloy samples, producing images is only part of the workflow. The imaging of microscopic features is critical in understanding its fundamental properties such as its mechanical properties and corrosion resistance.

The ZEN Analzer & Imager Analysis Bundle allows you to generate automatic measurements. Pre-defined measurement parameters and workflows enable fast and simple analysis using the offline analysis mode.

Advantages of the ZEN Analyzer and Image Analysis Solution Bundle to improve automation and repeatability of image segmentation and analysis workflows


Benefit from automated and repeatable workflows

  • By using the measurement program wizard, you can tackle complex measurement tasks in just a few minutes.
  • Once created, the programs are always available and you can use them to analyze an unlimited number of images. 

Take advantage of the full flexibility to define and control measurement process

  • Retain full control over the measurement process and adjust the settings to your needs. 

Automated report generation for improved productivity

  • Use ZEN core´s powerful reporting functionality to create reports in MS Word or PDF format.
  • Fully automate the reporting process with ZEN core’s Job Mode.

Application area in focus – Dissimilar Weld
  • Joining of two (or more) dissimilar materials, Nickel alloy and low alloy steel, is usually more difficult than joining separate pieces of the same material or joining alloys with only minor compositional differences.
  • Dilution can occur during welding, with subsequent formation of regions with different compositions from the parent material(s) and the weld metal. These dilutions may lead to inferior local corrosion resistance or altered mechanical properties.
  • Image analysis allows the rapid quantification & statistical analysis of the precipitates concentrated along grain boundaries. This fast and repeatable quantification of results help to increase the efficiency of weld analysis.
  • When coupled with EDS mapping, the chemical composition of the precipitates can then be known.
Automatic segmentation of the brighter phase corresponding to grain boundaries precipitates
Automatic generation of reports and statistical analysis
EDS mapping of grain boundaries precipitates

ZEISS EVO 10 & 25

EVO configurations designed to meet your imaging, analysis and budget requirements


Base configuration

  • The ZEISS EVO 10, with the base configuration offers a compact, robust and versatile imaging and analysis platform for routine materials characterization.
  • This configuration extends performance, flexibility, and support beyond the limitations associated with tabletop SEMs.
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Smart configuration

  • The EVO 10, with the smart configuration integrates SmartSEM Touch a easy to use, smart, intuitive and automated imaging and analysis capability.
  • A Oxford Instruments Xplore 30 mm EDX with the AZtecLiveOne analysis software provides a chemical characterization workflow.
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SmartVP configuration

  • The EVO 10, with the smartVP configuration provides a variable pressure capability to overcomes imaging challenges associated with charging samples.
  • A range of variable pressure detector options, SmartSEM Touch for ease of use and a Oxford Instruments Xplore 30 mm EDX with the AZtecLiveOne provide a comprehensive range of capabilities.
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Smart configuration

  • A high-performance industrial workhorse designed with a large chamber to accommodate large, bulky and heavy samples.
  • This configuration combines the ability to inspect large samples while using the easy to use and automated capabilities of SmartSEM Touch. Oxford Instruments Xplore 30 mm EDX and AZtecLiveOne provide intuitive and productive chemical characterization workflows.
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