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Electron microscopy

Electron microscopy is the process of greatly magnifying tiny particles in order to see and analyse them. The use of electrons allows 10.000 x plus magnification, which is not possible using light microscopy and atomic resolution. In general, electron microscopy can yield the following information:

  • Topography: the surface features of an object or "how it looks"
  • Morphology: the shape and size of the particles making up the object
  • Composition: the elements and compounds that the object is composed of and the relative amounts of them 

Materials to be viewed under an electron microscope may require processing to produce a suitable sample. The technique required varies depending on the specimen and the analysis required. We are happy to help finding the process suitable for your specific needs. 

There are two types of electron microscopes: (1) Transmission electron microscope (TEM), and (2) Scanning electron microscope (SEM). Both types are available at LBIC.

Transmission electron microscope

Our system: FEI Tecnai Biotwin 120kv

Placed at Biomedicinskt Centrum (BMC), floor C11.

Scanning electron microscope

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) depends on a focused electron beam scanned over the surface of a sample. When the beam hits the sample surface, electrons are emitted from a shallow area around the beam impact point. SEM provides detailed topographic images of the surfaces of cells, tissue and whole organisms that is not possible with TEM.

Our system: SEM (Jeol JSM-7800F)

Placed at Biomedicinskt Centrum (BMC), floor C11.

Our system is equipped with secondary and backscatter detectors for both high and low vacuum work. This makes it possible to study both the topography (secondary electrons) and detect contrast between areas with different atomic compositions (backscatter electrons), for example, the surface distribution of electron dense immuno-labels (nanogold or Quantum dots). Working under low vacuum allows non-conductive samples (e.g. biological samples) to be examined with minimal preparation work. The microscope is also equipped with a retractable STEM detector (Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy) that allows us to image thin, electron transparent samples with sub nanometer resolution.