Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

SEMs allow for an incredible level of scanning precision by scanning sample surfaces with a 10,000-volt beam of electrons. When this electron stream comes in contact with the sample, electrons, X-rays, and other electromagnetic particles are detected. With the aid of a computer, the particle patterns are decoded and interpreted.

SEM Equipment

The lab has a JEOL 6360 LV SEM (Low Vacuum Scanning Electron Microscope) equipped with an Oxford INCA x-ray microanalysis system, with a back-scatter detector, and the secondary electron detector. In addition to standard high voltage imaging, our system is equipped to run at low vacuum and low acceleration voltages. These settings can be used in conjunction with a cold stage to look at uncoated, frozen, hydrated samples.

SEM Preparation Techniques

Samples can be prepared using standard techniques including the EMS 850 Critical Point Dryer, and the Denton Desk IV sputter coater with a gold-palladium target, or carbon sputtering can be preformed with the optional carbon attachment.

Sample processing can also be accelerated using the Pelco Biowave microwave processor.