Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

The Center for Advanced Microscopy (CAM) offers full comprehensive scanning electron microscopy (SEM) services for all disciplines including biological and physical sciences, nanotechnology, and engineering.

There are two scanning electron microscopes at the Center for Advanced Microscopy, an ultra-high resolution JEOL 7500F with a cold field emission emitter and a JEOL 6610LV with a tungsten emitter. Both are equipped with Oxford EDS systems for elemental analysis. Both SEMs are also equipped with Scandium image processing software by Olympus Soft Imaging Solutions.

The 7500F SEM is designed for the most demanding applications in the range of 1,000X to 1,000,000X. It is the highest resolution SEM in the State of Michigan.  The 7500F is designed for maximum resolution and information extraction by use of multiple advanced secondary and backscattered electron detectors, a special energy filter for the detected electrons, and electron beam deceleration. It is ideal for nanotechnology related research. It has outstanding resolution at a 1 kV accelerating voltage where many non-conductive samples can be examined without a conductive coating.

The JEOL 7500F ultra-high resolution scanning electron microscope at the Michigan State University Center for Advanced Microscopy

The JEOL 7500F ultra-high resolution scanning electron microscope at the Michigan State University Center for Advanced Microscopy

Exfoliated graphite with nano-particles.  Image taken at a magnification of 1,000,000X on the JEOL 7500F scanning electron microscope

Exfoliated graphite with nano-particles. Image taken at a magnification of 1,000,000X on the JEOL 7500F scanning electron microscope.  Research from the lab of Lawrence Drzal.

The 6610LV SEM offers excellent SEM imaging in the range of 5X to 50,000X.  The low vacuum mode enables examination of un-coated non-conducting samples or volatile samples up to a vapor pressure of 270 Pascals; conventional high vacuum mode is also available.  The large sample chamber accepts samples up to 200 mm wide and 80 mm thick.  For samples that exceed these dimensions, CAM has special replica techniques that have assisted museums and industry in examining very large samples that cannot be placed in an SEM.

The JEOL 6610LV Scanning Electron Microscope at the Michigan State University Center for Advanced Microscopy

The JEOL 6610LV Scanning Electron Microscope at the Michigan State University Center for Advanced Microscopy

Trichome on the leaf of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant used as a model organism for scientific experiments.  This image was taken on the JEOL 6610LV scanning electron microscope at the Center for Advanced Microscopy.  All SEM images are black and white; color was added using software.

Trichome on the leaf of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant used as a model organism for scientific experiments. This image was taken on the JEOL 6610LV scanning electron microscope at the Center for Advanced Microscopy. All SEM images are black and white; color was added using software.

Additional equipment available

CAM has a full range of specimen preparation equipment for all types of samples. Coating equipment available includes conventional gold sputter coating, osmium coating for ultra-high resolution, and carbon coating. In addition CAM has a critical point dryer and a freeze dryer for preparation of biological samples and certain types of physical science samples.

We offer the following services:

  • Secondary Electron Imaging.
  • Backscattered Electron Imaging
  • Digital Imaging with user selectable pixel format (up to 20 Megapixels) and variable pixel dwell time.
  • Imaging of un-coated non-conducting samples
  • Stereo 3D imaging
  • Energy Dispersive X-ray Microanalysis (EDS)
  • SEM imaging from 5X magnification to 1,000,000X magnification
  • Advanced specimen preparation techniques including cryo-fracture, cryo-sectioning, and cryo examination
  • Video capability in SEM imaging
  • Replica techniques for very large samples

For SEM services contact Dr. Stanley L. Flegler, 517-353-8798, flegler@msu.edu

See our Service and User charges page

For enrollment in NSC-820 SEM Lab, contact Dr. Stanley L. Flegler, flegler@msu.edu 517-353-8798.  This is a limited enrollment course with specific enrollment procedures.  Please see our Courses page for more information.

Note: Dual beam and ultra-low vacuum (environmental) SEM services up to vapor pressures of 400 Pascals are available on-campus at the Composite Materials and Structures Center. Contact Per Askeland, askelano@msu.edu, 517-432-5245.