Scanning Electron Microscopy BIL 352/655

Techniques in scanning electron microscopy includes sample preparation, use of the scanning electron microscope, digital and photographic imaging analysis and printing.


Dr.Jeffrey Prince

Office: Cox 20
Credits: 3

Meeting Time and Place: Wednesdays 1-5 PM; Cox 20 B

| In Depth Course Description | Admission to the Course | Course/Laboratory Schedule |

In Depth Course Description:

Students will be trained: to start with standard biological specimens; then fix, critical point dry and sputter coat the specimens so that they are stabilized beneath the electron beam as well as prevent the build-up of an excessive electron charge; operate the Jeol 5600LV Scanning Electron Microscope in both the low and high vacuum mode; use either the secondary electron detector and/or the back scattered detector to image the specimen; capture the image photographically [Polaroid positive/negative film] or digitally; photographically enlarge the negative [darkroom] and/or print [Epson Stylus Photo EX] the digital image after Photoshop/NIH Image manipulation [Mac G-3]. Once these basic techniques have been acquired by the student each is expected to pursue a project/ material of his/her choice including biological, biomedical appliances and materials of various types. Graduate students (BIL 673) are expected to complete the course with a written report on the results of their project.


Admission to the course is only through permission of the instructor. This involves filling out an application and having an interview with the instructor during the fall semester for the next spring's course offering. Eight to ten students are accepted from the applicant pool and three to four others are chosen as backups in case one of the eight is unable to schedule the course.

Course/Laboratory Schedule

Scanning Electron Microscopy


Introduction & philosophy. Saftey, Lab. rules, lockers


Fix/dehydrate specimens [to 95%]; Scope on, Vacuum, standard condits. [focus, apt. align., stigmat.] to print pict.; Print due next lab for pairs of standard specimen


Scope on by class, check aperture alignment and stigmation. Final dry [100%] specimens then critical point dry & sputter coat. Stubs. Beam saturation & false color. Polaroid image capture. Polaroid Positive of standard specimen due next lab


Scope on by class [and check saturation, stig., apert. align]. Gun alignment. LV/backscatter mode. Darkroom. Photo. Prints (pairs) due next lab.


Check scope ON and LV mode. Transfer of files to SEM G-3. Class review of scope and ancillary equipment operation. Polaroid and paper print per student due next lab.-photo print due lab 7.Prep for exam. Start work on specimens in pairs/projects


Polaroid and print due/student. 2 questions per student due and review answers. Start projects/individual specimens.


Photo enlargement/student due. Interviews with pairs and scope operation


EXAM (2 questions /student reviewed in class)


Spring Break


LV mode, Lecture assignments; Project discussion




Projects. Lecture: SEM vs TEM; Lense characteristics


Projects. Lecture: Bei; Sei




Project and Written Reports Due

Text: Electron Microscopy [1991] by J.J. Bozzola & L.D. Russell. Jones & Bartlett Publish.