Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
Installed in 2008, our SEM has three detector systems. In secondary electron (SE) or backscattered electron imaging mode magnifications from approximately 20x to 300,000x are available. The energy dispersive X-ray detector (EDS) provides qualitative and semi-quantitative analysis of elements .
A wide range of sample types can be examined in our SEM. All samples must have a conductive coating applied to their surface, either sputtered gold or evaporated carbon. Samples must contain no volatiles (water is the main concern, but some oil-saturated samples might also be unsuitable, for example). Typical samples are small enough to be mounted on 1-cm diameter Al-cylinders. Four such samples can be loaded at the same time. Somewhat larger samples, up to a few cm on a side, can also be used, depending upon whether they fit through the airlock and pose no possibility of colliding with the detectors. CL imaging requires polished thin sections or rock slabs.