Microscopy and Imaging

The Department has a modern electron microscope facility that is used by students, faculty and staff. It is equipped with an Hitachi S4800 scanning electron microscope and an Hitachi H600 transmission electron microscope. The H600 may also be operated in STEM mode. Both microscopes are equipped with EDS systems for elemental analysis. Ultramicrotomes, critical point dryers, vacuum evaporators,sputter coaters and fully equipped darkrooms are also available for use. Formal courses in scanning and transmission electron microscopy provide training to both graduate and undergraduate students.


Electron Microscopes

Hitachi H-600 Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM)

  • operable in conventional, scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) modes
  • accelerating voltage to 100 kV in 25 kV increments
  • capable of digital image acquisition (1024 x 1024 maximum resolution) in STEM and SEM modes
  • specimen holders: standard, dual, rotational (goniometer), low background (beryllium) current metering, and cryotransfer (see below)

Hitachi S-4800 Ultra High Resolution Cold Cathode Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM)

  • operable in secondary electron (SE), backscattered electron (BE), and STEM modes
  • capable of simultaneous brightfield and darkfield STEM imaging
  • digital image acquisition
  • exceeds manufacturer’s guaranteed resolutions of 1 nm at 15 kV, 2 nm at 1 kV, and 1.4 nm at 1 kV with beam deceleration on site (standard gold on carbon test specimen)

Energy-dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (EDS)

Hitachi S-4800 FE-SEM is equipped with a Bruker Quantax EDS system

  • thin window silicon drift detector (SDD) allows the detection of elements Boron and higher
  • point analysis, line scan analysis and digital dot mapping capabilities

TEM Specimen Preparation

  • RMC MT 7000 Ultramicrotome (with cryoultramicrotomy attachment – see below)
  • RMC MT 7 Ultramicrotome
  • Reichert Ultracut E Ultramicrotome
  • glass knife makers (LKB, RMC)
  • LKB Multiplate

SEM Specimen Preparation

  • Critical point dryers (Sorvall, Balzers, Tousimis)
  • Sputter coaters (SPI, CS Mini Coater, EMITECH K575x with carbon coating attachment)
  • Vacuum evaporator (Edwards)

Cryo Specimen Preparation

  • RMC Propane Jet Freezer
  • Leica AFS Freeze Substitution Apparatus
  • RMC CR-21 attachment for RMC MT 7000 ultramicrotome
  • Oxford CT 3500 Cryo Transfer System for Hitachi H-600 TEM

Light Microscopes

  • Leica TCS SP2 Confocal System installed on a Leica upright compound microscope. Microscope equipped for DIC, phase contrast and epifluorescence microscopy.
    • 3 lasers provide 6 excitation lines for confocal imaging (458 nm, 476 nm, 488 nm, 514 nm, 543 nm and 633 nm)
    • 3 PMT channels for confocal acquisition, one transmitted light PMT
    • Spot RT color digital camera for image capture in other modes
  • Olympus BH-2 upright compound microscope equipped for epifluorescence microscopy with a 100 watt mercury burner and 3 filter cubes (Olympus B L0910, B L0911 and B L012)
  • Olympus IMT – 2 inverted compound microscope equipped with phase contrast optics.
  • Olympus PM 10AD photomicrographic system for acquisition of 35 mm photographs with Olympus BH-2 and Olympus IMT-2 microscopes.
  • Zeiss Large Universal upright microscope. Equipped for epifluorescence microscopy and 35 mm photography (Zeiss MC 63 camera system).

Image Analysis, Storage and Output

  • Fully equipped B&W darkroom (including condenser enlarger, point-source enlarger)
  • Windows based image analysis computer and software (Photoshop, Optimas, Metamorph)
  • Epson Perfection V750 Pro scanner
  • Lexmark 1200 dpi laser printer
  • Hewlett Packard color inkjet printer
  • Epson Stylus Photo R800 color printer
  • Polaroid 8000 Digital Palette film recorder


  • Wet lab for TEM and SEM specimen preparation including incubators, ovens, balances, stereo and light microscopes, centrifuges, microcentrifuge, pH meter, hot plates, stir plates, fume hoods, etc.