Scanning Electron Microscope Laboratory

The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Lab is located in Room 2-17 of the Earth Sciences Building. This facility is open to all University of Alberta researchers, as well as researchers from other universities, government agencies, and industry. Technicians are available for instrument operation, alternately users from the U of A may be trained to operate the instruments independently and run their own samples.

Our Equipment


Zeiss Sigma 300 VP-FESEM

Zeiss Sigma Field Emission SEM operates in both high vacuum and variable pressure modes with a resolution of ~10 nm. It is equipped with secondary and backscattered electron detectors, an in-lens electron detector, a cathodoluminescence (CL) detector, and a Bruker energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) system with dual silicon drift detectors each with an area of 60 mm2 and a resolution of 123 eV. The Sigma FESEM is primarily technician run; U of A users with previous SEM experience may be trained to operate this SEM independently.



Zeiss EVO SEM with LaB6 electron source has a resolution of ~100 nm. It is equipped with a Bruker energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) system with a silicon drift detector with a resolution of 123 eV and a 10 mm2 window area. It is also able to operate in both variable pressure and extended pressure (environmental) modes. It is equipped with a cold stage and in environmental mode is able to image hydrated samples. This instrument is primarily user run; training is open to all U of A users with no prior SEM experience required.


Sample Coating and Preparation 

Conductive coatings of gold or carbon may be deposited using a Nanotek SEMprep 2 sputter coater or Leica EM SCD005 evaporative carbon coater. Samples may be prepared for imaging using a Bal-Tec CPD 030 critical point dryer.

For appointments or additional information e-mail