EPIC (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


    • Hitachi S3400N-II SEM
    • Hitachi S4800-II cFEG SEM
    • Hitachi SU8030
    • Leo Gemini 1525 SEM
    • FEI Quanta ESEM
    • Hitachi HD-2300A Dual EDS Cryo S/TEM
    • Hitachi HT-7700 Biological S/TEM
    • Hitachi H-8100 TEM
    • FEI Helios Nanolab SEM/FIB
    • JEOL ARM300F GrandARM S/TEM