Understand the fundamental properties of your material

Uncover a wide range of fundamental properties of your material, including composition, crystal structure, optical modes, and electronic band gap. You can detect trace elements and dopants, or improve the device/material efficiency through defect analysis.


Sensitive detection with nanoscale resolution

SEM-based cathodoluminescence imaging uses an electron beam for high-resolution optical imaging, enabling the analysis of samples with exceptional sensitivity and spatial resolution surpassing the diffraction limit. Its user-friendly nature positions CL imaging as a highly valuable tool for materials analysis.


Valuable correlation with other SEM techniques

Combine the unique insights of cathodoluminescence imaging with other SEM-based techniques such as SE, BSE, or EBSD to gain a more holistic understanding of the properties of your material. 

Our solutions

Find your ideal cathodoluminescence solution

SPARC Spectral
SPARC Compact

Comprehensive cathodoluminescence detection

Perform a comprehensive analysis of your material of interest at the nanoscale with the SPARC Spectral CL detector. Gain valuable insights into material composition, crystal structure, optical modes, and band gap energy. Detect trace elements and dopants, or improve the device/material efficiency through nanoscale defect analysis.

list-check Ensures the best data quality

list-check Tailored to your research needs

list-check Future-proof and easily upgradeable

Interested to learn more about the capabilities of SPARC Spectral?
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Fast and flexible cathodoluminescence detection

Use JOLT for rapid and convenient CL detection. Gain valuable insights into geological materials by mapping the emitted CL intensity to reveal properties such as crystal growth, zonation, deformation, and defect structures. Additionally, you can measure the CL emission of bulk materials such as semiconductors and rare-earth doped materials.

list-check Rapidly obtain micro- and nanoscale insights

list-check Efficiently screen your materials for further analysis

list-check Understand the growth of zircons over time

Interested to learn how JOLT can boost your research?
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Gain nanoscale insights into your materials

Use the power of the SPARC Compact CL detector to understand the structural composition and luminescence properties of your material at the nanoscale. Gain valuable insights into processes such as crystal growth zonation in geological samples or defect structures in semiconductor samples, all with exceptionally high spatial resolution.

list-check Large area micro- and nanoscale analysis

list-check Efficient and user-friendly workflow

list-check Future-proof and easily upgradeable

Interested to learn more about what SPARC Compact has to offer?
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Time-resolved cathodoluminescence imaging

Use time-resolved CL to unlock the decay trace and lifetime of your photon emitter. Additionally, you can conduct a comprehensive analysis of the photon distribution over time to gain detailed insights into your semiconductor or quantum material.

list-check Perform lifetime imaging and g(2) imaging

list-check Get insights into intrinsic material properties, nanoscale quality, and defects

list-check Study the quantum nature of light and single-photon emitters

list-check Pump-probe cathodoluminescence imaging

Interested to learn more about our time-resolved CL solution?
Discover LAB Cube


Explore your options

Reach out to our team of specialists to find out how our solutions can help you advance your research towards a next breakthrough.

Application areas

Find solutions for your field of research



list-check Gain unique textural information about your geological sample

list-check Understand the composition, history, and provenance of your rock

list-check Study inter- and intra-granular features

list-check Analyze image zonation and deformation features

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list-check Map the radiative local density of optical states

list-check Characterizing guided and resonant optical modes

list-check Measuring angular profiles to study directionality

list-check Measuring the polarization of emission for multipolar analysis

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list-check Probe local band edge emission and local defect band emission

list-check Analyze point defects and delocalized defects

list-check Image dopant distribution and carrier diffusion

list-check Measure damage and strain in the material

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list-check Gain insight into the nanoscale (optical) properties of quantum materials

list-check Map cathodoluminescence with high spatial resolution

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Frequently asked questions

Find out even more about cathodoluminescence

What is the difference between cathodoluminescence and other SEM-based imaging techniques?

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Secondary electrons (SE) detection involves the detection of low-energy electrons, allowing for the collection of secondary electrons exclusively from the top few nanometers of a material. This technique is sensitive to surface topography and also shows minor material contrast. 

Backscattered electrons (BSE) detection is primarily sensitive to density and atomic number and therefore can be used to obtain material contrast. Electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) enables the examination of crystal structure and crystal orientation, while energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) can be used to obtain the quantitative composition of a material by looking at its core transitions. 

Cathodoluminescence contrast contains information about the material composition, as well as unique information about the band gap, defects, trace elements, crystal defects, and optical resonances.

Read more about this topic in our blog post

What is the difference between cathodoluminescence and photoluminescence?

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Cathodoluminescence (CL), broadly speaking, involves the emission of light from a material upon excitation by electrons, providing a signature of the electronic excitation processes. Photoluminescence (PL), on the other hand, involves the emission of light from a material upon excitation by photons. As electrons are heavier and carry more momentum, the selection rules for CL emission are different from those for PL.

Light sources used for PL excitation, often lasers, have a narrow energy range and therefore probe specific transitions. In contrast, excitation by electrons is broadband, allowing inspection from the deep UV to the IR. Additionally, the high energy of the electrons provides multiple excitation paths, resulting in different relaxation pathways with corresponding CL signatures. Materials can show both CL and PL emissions.

Learn more in our blog post

Is cathodoluminescence imaging a non-destructive technique?

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Cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging requires the sample to be exposed to the electron beam. Whether the sample is significantly modified by electrons depends on several factors, including the sample’s composition, the electron dose, and the electron energy. Various samples, such as certain semiconductors, are very stable under electron exposure. It is important to assess the behavior of the sample at the desired imaging parameters, and at times, the parameters may need adjustment based on the response of the sample.

Read more on imaging parameters in our white paper.


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