Manual offline analysis, of a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image, is a time consuming process and requires continuous human intervention and efforts. This paper presents an image processing based method for automated offline analyses of SEM images. To this end, our strategy relies on a two-stage process, viz. texture analysis and quantification. The method involves a preprocessing step, aimed at the noise removal, in order to avoid false edges. For texture analysis, the proposed method employs a state of the art Curvelet transform followed by segmentation through a combination of entropy filtering, thresholding and mathematical morphology (MM). The quantification is carried out by the application of a box-counting algorithm, for fractal dimension (FD) calculations, with the ultimate goal of measuring the parameters, like surface area and perimeter. The perimeter is estimated indirectly by counting the boundary boxes of the filled shapes. The proposed method, when applied to a representative set of SEM images, not only showed better results in image segmentation but also exhibited a good accuracy in the calculation of surface area and perimeter. The proposed method outperforms the well-known Watershed segmentation algorithm.
Shirazi, S. H., Ul Haq, N., Hayat, K., Naz, S., & Ul Haque, I. (2014). Curvelet based offline analysis of SEM images. PLoS ONE, 9(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0103942