Electron Microscopy encompasses a number of imaging techniques which use a focused beam of electrons to produce an image, rather than using visible light. Electron microscopy allows for imaging at much higher resolution, with far greater depth of focus than can be achieved using optical methods.

The MC² Facility has two Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) and one Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). The SEMs produce high resolution images of sample surfaces, whilst the TEM images through the sample.

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)


This microscope allows easy, intuitive operation, with a specimen chamber that is able to accommodate large samples, and a motorised stage allowing quick and easy specimen positioning. A 'Low Vacuum' mode enables samples normally unstable in a high vacuum environment, or that have a tendency to 'charge', to be examined. Pharmaceutical particles, fibres and electronic components may be characterised without coating. A high sensitivity backscattered electron detector is fitted for compositional imaging. Features include:

  • Low vacuum mode - for charging, uncoated and out-gassing samples.
  • Backscattered electron detector for compositional and topographic imaging.
  • Oxford INCA X-ray analyser - mapping, line scan, point ID and quantitative analysis.
  • Magnifications up to 30,000x.
  • Large sample chamber (up to 20 cm diameter and 6 cm height).
  • Fully automated stage controls.


This field emission scanning electron microscope allows for high resolution imaging. Features include:

  • Magnifications up to 270,000x.
  • Imaging at low accelerating voltages of 1-5 kV.

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

Our JEOL JEM-2100Plus instrument is a multi-purpose transmission electron microscope, combining a JEM-2100 optical system with an advanced control system for enhanced ease of operation. Features include:

  • 200 kV maximum operating voltage.
  • LaB6 electron gun for excellent performance with reasonable running costs.
  • ‘TEM Centre’ control software - an intuitive user interface designed to maximize ease of operation.
  • A digital Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) system fully integrated into the TEM, and BF & HAADF detectors.
  • Oxford Instruments large area EDX detector and Aztec analysis software for high resolution elemental mapping.
  • A high tilt angle sample holder to enable electron tomography.

Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDX)

EDX is a method used for determining the elemental composition of a material. When the electron beam hits an atom it produces X-rays. An EDX instrument is attached to the 6480LV SEM and the 2100 Plus TEM.

Internal users

Please see our internal wiki pages.