• To operate SEM and the attached analytical instruments, any faculty, staff or student must pass both written and hands-on tests.  To become a qualified user, please click instrument rates for training and membership information.

FEI Quanta FEG 650

The field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) has multiple capabilities.  Besides the traditional high vacuum mode to image conductive material, the FE-SEM has a low vacuum mode to image dry insulator and an environmental mode to image wet/biological samples without long hours of chemical fixation, which is prone to artifacts.  The STEM detector can image the bulk structure of electron transparent materials with a maximum electron energy of 30 KeV.  Stable and high current density of the FE-SEM can be used for e-beam lithography.  Remote control software provide SEM access to classroom demonstration and research in regional campuses.

Oxford EDS with X-Max detector and EBSD with NordlysMax detector

Analytical instruments attached to the SEM include an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS), which provides information about chemical composition of a sample.  Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) provides crystal structure information including crystal orientation and grain size distribution.

Note: In your publication, if the image, spectra or analysis is produced from the microscope at MCF, please add the following acknowledgement: “We acknowledge the support from the Microscopy Core Facility at Utah State University for the SEM result.”  If the image was taken by a staff member, please acknowledge the person properly.

  1. Qualified user can sign up to 2 hours. If no one else sign up when you finish your time, you can continue to use the instrument. You can sign up for the next session when you finish one.
  2. Instruments may be reserved up to two weeks in advance.
  3. Hydrocarbons accumulated in the chamber will reduce image quality. Samples should never have any kind of grease or loose particles on the surface.  Please sonicate your samples with an acetone bath or isopropanol (if sample can’t tolerate acetone) prior to the SEM session and always wear clean gloves when handling samples.
  4. In the description box, please describe your sample physical property, detector(s), vacuum mode, and SEM information you want to get.
  5. Please click “yes” if this work is directly for or supported by a commercial entity.  Please contact the manager if you have any question about this point.