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AML: Applied Microscopy Laboratory

The Applied Microscopy Laboratory will provide needed analytical tools for analysis of a variety of materials. Materials spanning the spectrum from newly synthesized nanometer-sized particles (nanoparticles) to micro-polishes on stone tools from archaeological excavations would be readily imaged at magnifications sufficient to observe large nanoparticles. The scanning electron microscope – energy dispersive spectrometer (SEM/EDS) and the atomic force microscope (AFM) will be the cornerstone instruments of this facility. They are the tools of choice to accomplish this type of imaging. Additionally, the energy dispersive spectrometer attachment on the SEM provides for elemental analysis of the materials of interest. Instruments currently available for the center include a Leo Model 1430 SEM with an Oxford Instruments EDS attachment and an Atomic Force Microscope by Surface Imaging Systems which consists of an ULTRA Objective 20 µm SPM scanning head incorporated into a Leica DMR microscope attached to a SCANControl C control unit and a computer. A $390,000 grant was recently submitted to the Dept. of Defense (DoD) DURIP program to supplement the instrumentation available for the center. The instrument requested from DoD is a JEOL, Model JSM-6701F, field emission scanning electron microscope (SEM) complete with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) all in one package. The STEM would provide much higher resolution imaging, on the single nanometer scale, than what is available with the present instrumentation. The final decision on that grant will be available in mid March 2008. Future plans include the acquisition of a Raman microscope and an IR microscope which provides images based on the molecular species present on the surface of the sample.


  1. USERS: Users are given access to the calendar by request after they have demonstrated to a supervisor's satisfaction the ability to safely operate the instrument, both for their safety and to protect the equipment. USE YOUR LAST NAME AS THE "EVENT" WHEN SCHEDULING YOUR TIME.

  2. TIME ALLOTMENT: Blocks of time up to 4 hours may be scheduled in half-hour increments. A user may schedule up to 4 hours in advance for any work-day period (9-5 PM). There are no time limits to after hours use, but you still have to sign up for it.

  3. ADVANCE SCHEDULING: Please schedule time 24 hours in advance. This will minimize problems of multiple walk-in users coming in at the same time.

  4. WALK-IN USE: Unscheduled time will be open for walk-in use on a first come, first serve basis, for up to 4 hours per user within the 9-5 PM window (same conditions as in 2), above). If you claim unscheduled time as a walk-in, you must schedule your time on the spot so that someone else doesn’t show up for a walk-in session only to find you’re already there (you will be able to do so at CAMAS, on the networked computer running the EDS software). If no one is scheduled to use the microscope after a scheduled 4 hour session, the user may continue working and must sign up on the spot just the same as a walk-in. However, you should only do so after your first session has expired to give another user a fair chance to claim the time.

  5. LOG-IN SHEET: Users must register themselves on the log sheet with information on the material analyzed, detectors used, any problems encountered, etc. This log is a paper log kept at the instrument itself. We need this log information to diagnose and address any problems which may arise, and to thereby minimize unscheduled shut-downs.

  6. LATE POLICY: Instrument time is precious. Anyone who is going to be more than .5 hour late to a previously scheduled session should tell the group by email. Anyone who is more than 45 minutes late without informing the group can lose their time to a walk-in user. Anyone more than an hour late for any reason may have their time claimed by a walk-in user.

    The email addresses of the current users are:,,,,,,,,,,,

  7. ENDING A SESSION: If someone else is scheduled to use the SEM  after you, you must begin closing your session 10 minutes before your session ends (venting, removing your samples, re-evacuating) so that the instrument is free for the next user at the scheduled time.
Last Modified: 10/20/09 at 10:59:53 AM