Amray 1810 SEM
The Amray 1810 scanning electron microscope (SEM) uses a tungsten filament to create a focused electron beam for viewing specimen surface ultrastructure with angstrom-level resolution. This microscope produces practical images magnified between 20-10,000x. A universal specimen stage allows movement in X, Y, Z, tilt, and continuous rotation. With accelerating voltages ranging from 0-30kV, control of beam spot size, and externally selectable objective apertures, this microscope is readily capable of sub-micron resolution. In addition to manual controls, this microscope is features automatic image focusing, stigmation, and contrast and brightness control. The scanning and display systems enable real-time video signal processing functions including invert, filtering, gamma, and derivative functions. With seven different frame rates, users can optimize imaging for quick, initial examinations or for high signal-to-noise image capture. Recent upgrades include specialized backscatter mode and EDS elemental analysis of samples. This microscope is maintained through a service contract provided by Digital Optics LLC.
Image capture is provided by an IXRF 550i digitizer system and Iridium Ultra software. Elemental analysis and X-ray counting are also acquired with this system.
Sputter Coater. A Cressington 108 sputter coater is available to apply a conductive coating to the surface of all SEM samples. Using Argon gas and a gold target (cathode), up to twelve specimens at a time can be covered in a gold coating. The thickness of the coating can be controlled through manipulation of current and time settings, specimen stage height, and Argon gas pressure. Desiccators are available to store dried, coated samples. See use instructions in resources.
Critical Point Dryer. A Tousimis SAMDRI-PVT-3d critical point dryer is available to dry samples safely and rapidly, avoiding the morphological changes that can accompany air drying. Samples that have been dehydrated through an ethanol series can be placed in baskets in a pressure chamber to undergo drying. Special holders are available for samples that are adhered to coverslips. Liquid CO2 is used to replace the ethanol through a continuous flush and is converted to gaseous CO2 through heat and pressure.
Funding Support. The acquisition of this entire imaging system was made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation (Carole Browne) and Wake Forest University.