News and Information
New transmission electron microscope in Moos Tower available for training and general access
A new FEI Tecnai Spirit BioTWIN transmission electron microscope has been installed in 18-250 Moos Tower. The Tecnai Spirit is a 20-120 kV / LaB6 general-purpose instrument that is high resolution, digital, and easy to use. The optics of the microscope are optimized for high contrast and thus particularly suited to exploring the native state of low-contrast, beam-sensitive biological specimens, or other soft materials like polymers. The microscope is equipped with a 2k x 2k Eagle CCD camera that provides high resolution, fast read-out speed and large dynamic range. The Eagle camera is fully embedded in FEI's microscope software, giving one unified user interface. The Tecnai Spirit is outfitted for cryo-imaging and has integrated low dose software.
To arrange training and analytical work on this instrument, please contact our specialist, Dr. Robert Hafner (, 612-625-3974). See the instrument overview to find out more.
Laue X-ray Diffractometer is now available for training and general access
A Laue X-ray diffractometer has been installed and is now available for use. Laue is the fastest and most reliable technique to orient and co-mount crystal samples. It provides our investigators with what has been a standard capability at some peer institutions, bolstering our competitiveness. Please contact staff member Mike Manno about using this system.
Upgrades to the Bruker AFMs
The 20-year upgrades to our Bruker AFMs, as installed in May, have seen heavy and excited usage this past summer (but there is room for more users). Please contact Greg Haugstad or Jake Warner for more information about the new systems and/or to discuss your AFM needs.
Upcoming new equipment additions in 2013
Cryogenic Scanning Electron Microscopy System (cryo-SEM)
This will replace the Hitachi S4700 currently in our Hasselmo Hall site as well as ancillary hardware for specimen preparation and vacuum introduction. The majority of the work performed with our current systems has involved cross-sectional imaging of liquid-applied coatings (e.g., latex). Here the concept is to see all ingredients, both solid and liquid, by fast freezing to solid state then fracturing the coating under vacuum, and keeping at cryogenic temperatures (i.e., solid) during electron-beam based imaging. The new system will upgrade and improve our capabilities in this line of work, and will importantly lower the effort barrier for new users to "enter the cryo-SEM game" in a growing range of applications. For information on using any of our cryo-SEM systems in the future, please contact staff members Chris Frethem or Jake Warner
FEI Titan Transmission Electron Microscope (Installation in progress!)
The Titan is the first and only S/TEM designed to fully realize the benefits of corrected S/TEM. Aberration correction breaks through the fundamental optical limitations of magnetic lenses, but requires equally fundamental changes in system design to achieve the stability required for ultra high resolution imaging and analysis. The Titan's extra wide column was specifically designed to give the mechanical stability required due to the added height of probe and image correctors. Its proprietary constant power lenses and advanced power supplies provide the necessary thermal and electronic stability.