Services Provided by the Electron Microscopy Facility
The Electron Microscopy (EM) Facility provides training and assistance in both Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscopy. The EM Facility is a unique and important resource for members of the scientific community as they approach a variety of research problems that call for EM techniques.
On-campus researchers have access to the facility, and investigators from other third level institutes and the private sector are also welcomed. The EM Facility has the capacity to undertake a limited amount of work, as well as offering assistance or advice in the following areas:
- Transmission Electron Microscopy
- Scanning Electron Microscopy
- Standard TEM sample preparation
- Standard SEM sample preparation
- Negative staining
- Specimen coating
- Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDX) elemental analysis
- Immunocytochemistry in conjunction with Electron Microscopy
- Morphometry and Stereology
Services provided by the EM Facility staff can be tailored to the needs of the investigator. The examination of a broad range of specimens from cultured cells to polymers, and from nanoparticles to botanical samples can be carried out in the EM Facility.
Planning an Electron Microscopy research project
EM Facility staff have considerable expertise in the preparation of samples for electron microscopy. A variety of special techniques and methods are available for processing and fixation. Due to the diversity of specimen types encountered, attempts should be made by researchers to determine, via literature searches, the most current protocols applicable to their own specimen type.
Small investigative projects may be carried out by the staff of the EM Facility. For large and ongoing research projects, initial protocols may be developed and research assistants or postgraduate students trained for continuation of the work. For users who will need to use the electron microscopes extensively as a basic research tool for their project, the EM facility offers full training in sample preparation and operation of the equipment, so that the user may operate instrumentation without assistance.
The EM Facility houses a Transmission Electron Microscope (JEOL 2000FXII) and a Scanning Electron Microscope (JEOL 5510). Both microscopes are equipped with an INCA x-sight Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) Detector (Oxford Instruments), and both microscopes are capable of digital imaging.