This page provides a brief description of the electron microscopes and sample preparation equipment.
For more information about techniques visit:
For a more detailed discussion of what the equipment can do, please contact a member of staff for advice.
Electron microscopy team
If you are looking for confocal microscopy equipment please visit:
Registration and training
You are not permitted to use any of the equipment unless you have been trained to a suitable level and understand any health and safety issues associated with each item. You will not be expected to remember everything after one training session; a staff member will be available to assist you at most times. When you are competent at using an item of equipment, you will be allowed after-hours access to the facility.
Specification for publications
This equipment page is useful for finding the name, manufacturer and other specifications when you're writing up a thesis or paper. All company names and addresses are listed as they were at the time of equipment purchase. If you notice something missing which you could have used, please let us know so we can add it.
JEOL 2200FS Cryo-TEM
JEOL 2200FS field emission scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with omega energy filter (JEOL Ltd, Tokyo, Japan). It is fitted with a TVIPS F416 CMOS camera (TVIPS, Gauting, Germany) and a Direct Electron DE-20 detector (Direct Electron LP, California, U.S.A). HAADF and bright field modes are available for STEM electron detection.
Specimen holders include a standard JEOL holder, a JEOL double-tilt holder and a Gatan model 914 high tilt cryo holder (Gatan, Inc, California, USA) for cryo specimens.
Image acquisition software includes: SerialEM (University of Colorado, Boulder, USA), TVIPS EM-Menu and DE Imaging Manager.
JEOL 6700F FE-SEM
Field emission scanning electron microscope (JEOL Ltd, Tokyo, Japan) fitted with a JEOL 2300F EDS system (JEOL Ltd, Tokyo, Japan) and a Gatan Alto 2500 cryo preparation chamber/cryo stage (Gatan Inc, Pleasanton, California, USA). Our main research scanning electron microscope, capable of preparing and viewing frozen-hydrated specimens and undertaking elemental analysis and mapping.
Philips CM100 TEM
Philips CM100 BioTWIN transmission electron microscope with LaB6 emitter (Philips/FEI Corporation, Eindhoven, Holland). Fitted with MegaView lll digital camera (Olympus Soft Imaging Solutions GmbH, Münster, Germany).
A high-contrast transmission electron microscope designed for biological specimens.
Zeiss Sigma VP FEG SEM
Zeiss Sigma VP variable-pressure scanning electron microscope (Carl Zeiss Inc, Oberkocken, Germany) fitted with a HKL INCA Premium Synergy Integrated ED/EBSD system (Oxford Instruments, Oxfordshire, UK) and modified Emitech K1250 cryo stage (Emitech, UK).
The Zeiss Sigma is able to perform high resolution imaging with secondary and back scatter electrons (up to 1.7nm at 15 kV and 3.0nm at 1 kV). It is able to operate under variable pressure conditions (from 2 to 133 Pa) and is good for imaging specimens that are poorly conductive or specimens that cannot be imaged under vacuum. The chamber is able to accommodate specimens up to 250mm in diameter and 145mm tall.
SEM sample preparation equipment
- Bal-Tec CPD-030 critical point dryer (Bal-Tec AG, Balzers, Liechtenstein), for final drying of solvent-dehydrated specimens
- Emitech K575X Peltier-cooled high resolution sputter coater (EM Technologies Ltd, Kent, England) fitted with an Emitech 250X carbon coater, for high-resolution metal coating of specimens
- Quorum Q150T E turbo-pumped carbon coater
TEM sample preparation equipment
- Bal-Tec BAF 060 freeze fracture device (Bal-Tec AG, Balzers, Liechtenstein).
- BioRad E5100 SEM coating system modified in-house for glow discharging grids (BioRad Microscience Ltd, Hertfordshire, UK)
- Edwards E306A vacuum coating system (Edwards High Vacuum, Crawley, England)
- Electron Microscopy Sciences EMS-820 Precision Pulsed laboratory microwave oven (Electron Microscopy Sciences, Fort Washington, PA, USA), for microwave-stimulated fixing, dehydration and infiltration of specimens.
- Eppendorf 5810 centrifuge (Eppendorf AG, Hamburg, Germany)
- Heraeus Sepatech Biofuge 15 centrifuge (Heraeus Sepatech GmbH, Osterode, Germany)
- Leica EM AC20 grid stainer (Leica Mikrosysteme GmbH, Vienna, Austria), for contrasting ultra-thin sections (see also LKB 2168 Ultrostain grid stainer (LKB-Produkter AB, Bromma, Sweden), for contrasting ultra-thin sections, below)
- Leica EM AFS2 automatic freeze-substitution device (Leica Microsystems GmbH, Vienna, Austria), for freeze-substitution of frozen specimens, for the progressive lowering of temperature technique for chemically-fixed specimens and low-temperature resin curing
- Leica EM IGL automatic immunolabeling device for electron microscopy (Leica Microsystems, Vienna, Austria), for automated immunolabelling of grid-mounted specimens.
- Leica EMPACT 2 High Pressure Freezer, for cryo-fixation of samples up to 200µm within milliseconds
- Leica KF80 specimen plunge-freezing device with metal mirror (MM80) attachment (Leica Microsystems, Vienna, Austria), for rapid specimen freezing
- Leica UC6 Ultramicrotome (Leica Microsystems GmbH Ernst-Leitz-Straße 17-37 Wetzlar, 35578, Germany)
- Leica Ultracut UCT and Reichert FCS cryoultramicrotome
- LKB 2168 Ultrostain grid stainer (LKB-Produkter AB, Bromma, Sweden), for contrasting ultra-thin sections (see also Leica EM AC20 grid stainer (Leica Mikrosysteme GmbH, Vienna, Austria), for contrasting ultra-thin sections, above)
- Pelco BioWave Pro Laboratory microwave oven with ColdSpot heating reduction system (Ted Pella Inc, Redding, California, USA), for microwave-stimulated decalcification, fixing, dehydration and infiltration of specimens
- Reichert-Jung Ultracut E ultramicrotome (C. Reichert AG, Vienna, Austria) (x2), for producing ultra-thin sections of embedded specimens for transmission electron microscopy
- Reichert/Leica AFS automatic freeze-substitution device (Reichert Division of Leica AG, Vienna, Austria), for freeze-substitution of frozen specimens, for the progressive lowering of temperature technique for chemically-fixed specimens and low-temperature resin curing
- Agar Scientific Ltd, UK: http://www.agarscientific.com
- Bio-Strategy, NZ: https://www.bio-strategy.com
- Carl Zeiss GmbH, Germany: https://www.zeiss.com
- Carl Zeiss Pty Ltd, Australia: https://www.zeiss.com.au
- Direct Electron, LP: CA, USA: http://www.directelectron.com
- Electron Microscopy Supplies, PA, USA: https://www.emsdiasum.com/microscopy/
- FEI Company (Thermo Fisher Scientific): https://www.fei.com
- Gatan, Inc, CA, USA: http://www.gatan.com
- JEOL Ltd, Japan: https://www.jeol.co.jp/en/
- Leica Microsystems, Germany: https://www.leica-microsystems.com
- Oxford Instruments, UK: https://www.oxford-instruments.com
- Nanospec, Australia: http://www.nanospec.com.au
- ProSciTech, Australia: https://www.proscitech.com.au
- Protochips, NC, USA: http://www.protochips.com/
- Ted Pella, Inc: http://www.tedpella.com