Augustana College
Scanning Electron Microscope

CamScan Series 4

Princeton Gamma Tech - new digital imaging
and energy dispersive x-ray analysis system

Augustana has a CamScan Series 4 scanning electron microscope.  Here is the operation checklist.  It was obtained as a gift from the Los Alamos National Laboratory Educational Equipment Gift Program.  It arrived in three large crates in June, 2002, and was assembled by a CamScan engineer in July, 2002.  The SEM was new in 1989 but it still works great.  It has a number of features not found on the previous Etec SEM.

Using money provided by the Science Endowment Fund, the SEM was upgraded in July, 2003 by adding a Princeton Gamma-Tech Avalon system.  It includes both digital imaging and energy dispersive x-ray analysis.  We also purchased a new computer, color printer, and comfortable chairs.  The noisy fore pump and water cooler are located on the other side of a wall making for a pleasant lab environment.

The controls are very simple, it has a motorized sample stage, and screen images are digitized and transferred to the adjacent computer.  For the first 16 months, a tungsten filament was used for the source of electrons.  On Dec. 2, 2003 we installed a new LaB6 filament.  It requires a better vacuum and provides brighter and sharper images.

Two experiments that use the new machine are now performed by all the students in PH 352, Advanced Lab III.  Kyle Minch, a junior majoring in biology, did an independent study project using the SEM in the 2003-2004 winter term.  Students in CH 403 have been doing an experiment using the SEM in the spring term.

Here are some images from the SEM.  These were all taken in October, 2002.  Click on the photos to see larger images.

Dime Copper grid - magnification 300 Copper grid - magnification 1500

Here is a set of close-up photos used in connection with the upgrade.

Scanning Electron Microscopy Workshop - Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2003.
    Presented for interested Augustana faculty members by Dave Renneke and Bob Frank.

9:00 - 10:30

 10:30 - 10:50
10:50 - 12:30
12:30 - 1:00
1:00 - 4:30

Introduction to Scanning Electron Microscopy - Science 203
   1.  Basic Operation of an SEM
   2   Vacuum Systems
   3.  Specimen Preparation
   4.  Digital Imaging
   5.  Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis
Refreshments - Science 120
Demonstration of the SEM and the sputter coater - Science 115
Lunch at the College Center Snack Bar
Prepare and examine specimens - Science 115
Basic operation - Museum of Science (Boston)  |  SEM detectors
Virtual SEM - Java applets (Florida State University)
Thermionic electron gun (U. Nebraska - Lincoln) | column schematic | specimen interaction
Checklists for using the SEM - Startup, Changing Specimen, Shutdown
Here is the list of participants:
Lee Carkner, Mike Wolf, Mary Ellen Biggin, Randall Wanke, Dave Dewit and Tom Bengtson.
The workshop was repeated on Friday, Nov. 21, 2003.  Participants:  Bruce McCart and Cecilia Vogel
The workshop was offered a third time on Thursday, Mar. 4, 2004 for Jeff Strasser.

Last update:  April 24, 2007