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Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

​​​​scanning electron microscopy western capeAt the Scanning Electron Microscopy unit in the Western Cape at Stellenbosch University instrumentation is available for high-resolution imaging and identification of chemical signatures by SE/CL/BSD and EDS/WDS on a single specimen.

The available instruments can dynamically image partially wet, hydrated samples, with various detectors that can generate sharp images, analytical working distance can be variable from 2.0 to 20 mm without compromising any other functionality, 5-axis motorized stage can be fully tilted for imaging large samples with very uneven surface.

Electron Microscopy

The unit is equipped with a ZEISS EVO MA15VP SEM, LEO 1450VP SEM and Zeiss MERLIN SEM . The systems are equipped with following detectors for diverse applications:
  • Secondary Electron Detector (SED)
  • Variable Pressure Secondary Electron Detector (VPSED)
  • Backscattered Electron Detector (BSD) 
  • Scanning Transmission Electron Detector (STEM)
  • Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (EDS or EDX)
  • Cathodoluminescence detector 
  • Wave Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (WDS) for more quantitative, in-situ elemental analysis.

ThermoFischer Apreo VolumeScope scanning electron microscope
The Apreo SEM is an extremely versatile electron microscope, capable of acquiring conventional SEM images as well as 3D volumetric SEM data sets through a specialised process called serial block-face microscopy. Located at Tygerberg Campus, the Apreo is the first serial block-face microscope in South Africa and will allow researchers to conduct volumetric SEM analysis on various biological materials, from tissues to single cells. This is especially useful for medical researchers and biologists, as cellular ultrastructure can be assessed in its 'natural' 3D confirmation, as opposed to conventional 2D SEM.