Instrument Services

X-ray Microscopy and Tomography

Tomograms and virtual histology sections of specimens can be generated at various magnifications of 2X through 40X with a spatial resolution of 10 through 0.4 microns. Imaging under loaded and wet conditions by using an in situ mechanical testing device can also be performed at various magnifications. Following acquisition, data can be processed to also evaluate morphology and volume fractions of constituents of varying mineral densities.

Scanning Electron and Transmission Microscopy (SEM, STEM)

The instrument is a variable pressure system, with scanning electron, scanning transmission, and back scattered electron imaging modes. Sigma 500 allows users to examine biological specimens without coating a conductive layer. Specimen preparation is straightforward and the variable pressure mode of the system allows non-invasive/less destructive imaging. The use of back scattered electrons helps differentiate components consisting of higher and lower atomic masses, and provides insights into elemental information within tissues. In addition to the scanning mode, Sigma 500's transmission mode allows users to acquire images like a traditional transmission electron microscope (TEM). That is, internal structures of specimens prepared to image using TEM also can be revealed by STEM mode on the Sigma 500. While traditional TEM usually holds one grid, the STEM sample holder accommodates 12 grids and facilitates high throughput. The sample navigation facilitated by a camera will identify the region of interest for correlative imaging, using light and electron microscopy techniques on the same specimen. This system facilitates high throughput and enables multi-length scale correlation of data sets acquired from light and X-ray microscopy techniques.