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Microscope Imaging and Spectroscopy Technology Laboratory

Micro- and nano-structural characterization is key to development and application of nanotechnology in fields ranging from medicine to crime scene investigation, from materials engineering to catalysis, and from the electronic device industry to the study of extraterrestrial materials and plants.

The Microscope Imaging and Spectroscopy Technology (MIST) Laboratory in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has expertise and equipment for various types of specimen preparation and microscopic analysis. The laboratory supports chemistry, physics, and biology research. Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy are available, as is a Pore Size Analyzer and a suite of thermal analysis instruments such as Thermal Gravimetric Analysis.

For more information, please contact Bishal Nepal or Mike Nichols.


Thermo Scientific Apreo 2 HV Scanning Electron Microscope

Apreo 2 sem


The Apreo 2 HV SEM from Thermo Scientific us a state-of-the-art field emission scanning electron microscope. The Apreo 2 features a unique live quantitative elemental imaging capability. The SmartAlign technology is an optics system that aligns itself. Flask technology executes any necessary corrections to lens centering, the stigmators, and final focus of the image. Additionally, the Apreo 2 SEM is the only SEM with a 1-nanometer resolution at 10 mm analytical working distance. The Apreo 2 can be applied to all-around nanometer or sub-nanometer resolution performance on materials ranging from nanoparticles, powders, catalysts, and nanodevices to bulk magnetic samples. The Apreo 2 also has advanced automation including FLASH for automatic image fine tuning, Undo, User Guidance, Maps tiling and stitching.

Philips EM430 TEM


Equipped with a LaB6 electron gun, the EM430 TEM provides a point resolution of 0.2 nm and has a double tilt sample holder and low-temperature sample holders. This microscope provides useful information on atomic arrangement of crystalline materials and nanostructures.

Brucker Bioscope Resolve Atomic Force Microscope

afm on desk


The bioScope ResolveTM Bio FM allows high resolution atomic force microscopy imaging on a variety of samples in air or liquid states.  these include to image hard materials or soft biological specimens in the Angstrom, nanometer, or micron range.  The AFM instrument can be operated alone using TopView Optics or in conjunction with an inverted optical microscope. Samples can be imaged by the BioScope Resolve using contact, tapping, or peak-force modes and will provide information on physical structure, interactions, and mechanical properties of a host of targets. The instrument is computer-operated with a BioScope Resolve Control Station using V9.70 NanoScope Software. The software allows many types of imaging and analysis including advanced quantitative force volume and spectroscopy with FastForce mapping capability; dynamic behavior of mammalian cells; nanomanipulation and nanolithography; image processing; 3D rendering and skin overlay; section, Fourier and bearing analysis; image math; data filtering; force curve analysis, and many other rendering options for report formatting.

NanoScope III

An ambient scanning probe microscope with various imaging modes (contact, lateral force, tapping and tunneling) in gas or liquid environments. Located in an extremely low vibration environment, this microscope can provide wide view, high vertical resolution (~0.1 nm) digital images of various types of sample surfaces.

Zeiss LSM 900 Confocal Microscope

confocal microscope


The existing LSM 700 confocal microscope was upgraded in Aug. 2020 to an LSM 900 imaging system. The LSM 900, equipped with two high-sensitivity GaAsP detectors, also has an upgraded motorized Observer 7 inverted stand with a remote touchscreen display and extended travel range Z drive. In addition, the LSM 900 system uses four laser lines (405, 488, 561, and 640 nm), an updated transmitted light detector, and a large-diaphragm condenser. The system is accompanied by a high-end PC workstation and 32” monitor running ZEN 3.1 software. Capabilities include Z-stack time-lapse, photobleaching-photoactivation, spectral unmixing, automated image analysis, colocalization, autofocus, 3D rendering, deconvolution, batch exporting, ZEN Connect workspace, and more. In addition, the instrument rests on a new large-format anti-vibration table.

TA Instruments Q2000 DSC

The Q2000 is a research-grade DSC, capable of analyzing samples under various environments, heating rates, and at temperatures ranging from -90 C to 725 C.

Applications include:

evaluation of phase transformations
decomposition and curing processes
determination of thermal and processing histories
pharmaceutical polymorph analysis

TA Instruments Q500 TGA

The Q500 is a research-grade TGA capable of analyzing samples under various environments, heating rates, and at temperatures ranging from ambient to 1000C.

Applications include:

evaluation of thermal stability
decomposition kinetics
oxidative stability
moisture/volatile content

Coulter SA3100 Surface Area and Pore Size Analyzer

The SA 3100 measures surface areas, pore size distributions, and pore volume parameters of powdered, pelleted or solid piece samples and provides highly accurate results for both quality control and research and development applications.

Recently Purchased Instrumentation

The Vista Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer is equipped with the VistaChip CCD detector, which offers full wavelength coverage (167-785 nm) and high-speed analyses. Spectral interferences are quickly eliminated, and trace and significant elemental concentrations can be measured simultaneously.

Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
The Applied Biosystems API 4000 LC/MS/MS system contains a Shimadzu modular LC, Leap Technologies HTC PAL injector/autosampler, and the API 4000 high-performance triple quadrupole mass spectrometer with a range of m/z = 5 to 3000.