Home > Instruments > Hitachi SU8230 > Description

Photo of instrument

Field Emission Gun
Scanning Electron Microscope

Hitachi SU8230


Hitachi SU 8230 is a Field Emission Gun Scanning Electron Microscope (FEGSEM) capable of 1.1 nm resolution at 1.5 mm working distance at 1.0 kV landing voltage, and 0.8 nm resolution at 15 kV at 4 .0 mm working distance.

The newly designed Cold Field Emission (CFE) gun: complements the inherent high resolution and brightness of conventional CFE with increased probe current and beam stability. The source brightness (A / cm2/sr) exceeds that of any prior Hitachi SEM. Landing voltage range is 30 kV to 0.01 kV. (Beam Deceleration Mode; variable retarding bias, provides landing voltage range from 0.01 to 2kV (0.01 - 1 kV in 10V steps; 1.0 - 2.0 kV in 100V steps)

Magnification: ranges from 100X to 1,000,000X in High Magnification Mode; 20X-2000X in Low Magnification Mode. (Working distance dependent)

Electron detectors: include:

  1. In-column Upper ExB detector with lens-integrated control electrode to provide either pure secondary (SE) or variable percentages of SE and inelastically scattered electrons (BSE)
  2. An in-column Top detector which receives high-angle elastically scattered electrons (BSE) for high resolution atomic number contrast at short working distances
  3. A chamber mounted Everhart-Thornley detector
  4. A 4+1 segment retractable below-lens semiconductor type BSE detector.

Sample chamber: 6 inch; includes an integrated LN2 cryo trap.

Stage: 5-axis motorized stage.

  • Non-Cryo Mode X/Y movement is 0-110 mm; Z: 1.5 - 40 mm; Tilt: -5 to +70; Rotation: 360.
  • Cryo Mode X/Y movement is ~ +/- 9 mm; Z: 1.5 - 40 mm; Tilt: 30 at Z=8mm or greater; 15 at 5 mm; 0 at 1.5 mm. Rotation: 0 (Locked!)

Vacuum system: Specimen chamber; Turbo + scroll dry pump. Gun / column; Ion pumps X 3, + Non- Evaporative Getter (NEG).

Charge Suppression Scan:imaging mode helps reduce charge artifact.


  • Leica VCT100 Cryo Stage / Cryo Transfer System
  • Thermo Noran System 7 Spectral Imaging (EDS) System with UltraDry Si Drift Detector


  • High-resolution topographic contrast (Se) and atomic number contrast (BSe) imaging of biological and non-biological samples in both room temperature and cryo modes.
  • Ultra-low landing voltage imaging of beam sensitive or charge prone samples.
  • Particularly applicable to imaging of immunogold labeled individual cells and bacteria, analysis of semiconductor thin films, polymers, hydrogels, etc.


Sample Size, Non-cryo:  ~ 150 mm Diameter
Sample Size, Cryo:  ~ 18 mm X 18 mm

Sample Data:

Photo of Sample1

Ultra-low landing energy; (Deceleration Mode.) "Enterococcus faecalis biofilm cultured on a fluoropolymer membrane; 8 hours post-inoculation. Fine fibrillar network between cells not visible under conventional low-voltage (>1 kV) imaging mode. Courtesy: Aaron Barnes; U of MN.

Photo of Sample2

CryoSEM cross-sectional micrograph of aqueous silica particles coating (diameter = 500 nm) dried for 4 min. Courtesy: Yan Wu and Dr. Lorraine Francis; U of MN.