Electron Probe Instrumentation Center

Equipment/facility: Facility

  • Location

    2220 Campus Drive Cook Hall, Rm 1154 (SEM facility), Rm 1114 (TEM facility) Evanston, IL 60208


The Electron Probe Instrumentation Center (EPIC) facility offers a wide range of electron microscopy (both transmission and scanning), accessory instrumentation, and expertise to the scientific and engineering community through education, collaboration, and service. The laboratory provides facilities for the preparation and examination of many types of bulk and thin specimens (foils/films), fine particles, and replicas, including biological materials, by transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Collectively, the Electron Probe Instrumentation Center (EPIC) offers instrumentation, techniques, and expertise for all aspects of microstructure materials. Detailed information about surface morphology, size and shape analysis, local chemistry, crystallography, and texture can be obtained with the scanning electron microscopes (SEM). The SEM facility has five SEMs with digital image acquisition, including four equipped with field emission gun (FEG), EDS, WDS, and EBSD systems. The facility also has a dual beam SEM/FIB and both Ion and Electron Beam Lithography capabilities. The transmission electron microscopes (TEM) allow researchers to probe the crystal structure, defects, local chemistry, electronic structure, and related information at the nanometer or less length scale. The TEM facility currently has four TEMs, including Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) capabilities. The Hitachi HD2300 STEM is configured with a unique dual EDS system for ultrahigh collection angle EDS. The in-situ S/TEM HT7700 comes with a set of special specimen holders for in-situ experiments. The JEOL JEM2100F FEG TEM/STEM has sub 0.2nm probe capability, equipped with high-angle annular dark field (HAADF) detector, which gives atomic resolution of Z-contrast imaging of STEM. Three of the microscopes are equipped with Liquid Nitrogen cryo stages for biological sample observations. The BioCryo facility provides researchers with access to cryo and conventional electron microscopy of biological and soft matter samples with an array of electron-probe based imaging and microanalytical methods. Techniques include SE-, TE-, and Z-contrast imaging, electron diffraction, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS). Both SEM and TEM facilities are equipped with specialized specimen stages for dynamic studies involving deformation, fracture, current transport, applied electrical and magnetic fields, and temperature variation from -184 ° C to 1000 ° C. The diversity and quality of SEM and TEM instrumentation, along with the numerous analytical accessories, makes EPIC one of the most advanced laboratories in the country. The BioCryo facility offers expertise and support for planning and conducting cryo and conventional electron microscopy studies on biological samples (e.g. suspensions of molecules and particles, cells and tissues), as well as on nanoparticles, polymers, hydrogels, and other materials. Researchers can be trained to become independent users of our instrumentation and techniques.


electron probes
electron microscopes
transmission electron microscopy
scanning electron microscopy
field emission
electron microscopy
liquid nitrogen


  • Critical point drying
  • cryo SEM
  • cryo STEM
  • cryo TEM
  • Cryo/Low-Temp Preparation
  • Electron Microscopy
  • High–pressure freezing
  • Imaging
  • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
  • Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM)
  • Specimen Preparation
  • Specimen Preparation Facility Equipment
  • Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
  • Ultramicrotomy
  • Sample Preparation


  • Allied High Tech Multi-Prep Polishing System
  • Cryo-plunging system
  • Denton Desk III Sputter coater
  • FEI Helios NanoLab FIB-SEM
  • FEI Quanta ESEM
  • FEI Vitrobot Mark III
  • Hitachi H8100 TEM
  • Hitachi HD-2300 Dual EDS Cryo STEM
  • Hitachi HT-7700 Biological TEM
  • Hitachi S3400N SEM
  • Hitachi S4800 SEM
  • Hitachi SU8030 SEM
  • JEOL 2100F S/TEM
  • LEO 1525 SEM
  • Lesker Nano38
  • Osmium coater
  • South Bay Technology PC 2000 Plasma Cleaner
  • Spin coater
  • UC7 Ultramicrotome with FC7 cryochamber
  • Leica High Pressure Freezer HPM100
  • Leica EM ACE600 High Vacuum Coater
  • Fischione NanoMill TEM and APT Specimen Preparation System - Model 1040
  • Mantis Elite-Cam
  • Vacuum Atmospheres Company OMNI-LAB Glovebox System
  • Dimple Grinders (two available)
  • Gatan Dry pumping stations for TEM holders
  • Struers twin-jet Electropolisher
  • Optical Microscopes
  • Critical Point Dryer (CPD)
  • Emitech K775X Turbo Freeze Dryer (TFD)
  • Fischione IBT (two available)
  • PIPS (two available)
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM)
  • Specimen Preparation Facility (SPF)
  • Cryoultramicrotomy
  • cryosectioning