Scanning Electron Microscopy

Scanning electron microscopy is a technique for imaging with up to 800,000X magnification. This is achieved by focusing a beam of electrons into a tiny spot and scanning the beam across a sample. The electron beam ejects secondary electrons from the surface of the sample which is collected and recorded to produce an image of the sample. Scanning electron microscopy is typically used to image inorganic material, but it can also be used to image biological matter with special processing.


SEM Resolution< 10 [nm]
Magnification100X to 800,000X
XY Stage Range75 mm
XY Stage Tilt-5° to 45°
Sample Max Dimensions100 mm x 100 mm wide
10 mm tall


Core Technology

Core TechnologyDescription
SOP: FEI XL-30This document is the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the FEI XL-30 scanning electron microscope at UHNF. This SOP serves as a foundation for initial training and ensures that the equipment can be operated correctly, by everyone, the first time.
Clostridium DifficileThis is a video guide to preparing clostridium difficile bacteria for scanning electron microscopy.
SSP: FEI XL-30This document is the standard service procedure (SSP) for the FEI XL-30 scanning electron microscope at UHNF. This SSP ensures that any staff can effectively perform routine service or repairs correctly, the first time. This document is restricted to equipment custodians. Contact us for access.


Training GuideDevelop the basic knowledge and skills towards becoming a good electron microscopist.
PrimerLearn the basics of electron microscopy from Bob Hafner at University of Minnesota.
Biological Sample PreparationLearn various procedures for preparing biological samples for scanning electron microscopy.
ChargingLearn the basics of charging and techniques to manage it
Focusing and StigmatismLearn the basics of focusing and stigmatism and techniques to obtain sharp images
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