Scanning Electron Microscopy

Carl Zeiss Merlin SEM

Merlin SEM

Our Carl Zeiss Merlin SEM is a high-resolution Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM) designed for low-voltage imaging of delicate samples with resolution better than one nanometer. The Merlin has several low-noise backscatter and secondary electron detectors, a novel charging compensation mode, and has become our primary tool for studying soft materials samples such as polymers, nanoparticles, and active biological materials such as patterned silicon nanowires. An Oxford Ultim Max 100 EDS system with AzetcLive enables ultrafast elemental characterization and mapping.


  • Probe continuously adjustable from 10pA to 40nA
  • 0.9nm resolution at 15kV
  • 1.6nm resolution at 1kV
  • Detectors: In-Lens, EsB, AsB, SE2
  • Oxford UltimMax100 EDS system
  • 80mm Airlock
  • GIS Charge Compensator (N2)
  • IBSS GV10x Plasma Asher
  • Spicer SC20-DC EMF compensation

Thermo Nova NanoSEM 230 SEM


Our Thermo Nova NanoSEM 230 field emission SEM is our main imaging tool for nanoparticles and hard materials. A STEM-II detector and a vCD detector (for beam deceleration imaging) have recently been added to the standard ETD and TLD detectors. A JC Nabity Nanometer Pattern Generation System (NPGS 9.0) enables electron beam lithography with 20 nm feature sizes.


  • 1.0nm resolution at 15kV
  • 1.6nm resolution at 1kV
  • Detectors: TLD, ETD, vCD, LVD, and STEM-II
  • Beam deceleration stage bias
  • Low-vacuum mode
  • High Speed Beam Blanker
  • NPGS 9 Beamwriting system