The Eyring Materials Center offers a variety of techniques to meet your research needs. Click on an individual technique for more information, including associated equipment.

Electron microscopy

What is electron microscopy?

Electron microscopy (EM) is a scientific imaging technique used to capture high-resolution images of specimens such as microorganisms, large molecules, metals, and crystals. For example, EM is often used in biomedical research to study the detailed structure of cells, tissues, and organelles. The technique works by focusing a beam of electrons onto a sample using magnetic lenses. Using electrons as the source of illumination results in a very high resolution — up to ~0.1 nanometers (nm) — because of the electrons’ very short wavelength.

What are the different types of EM?

There are different types of electron microscopes, which produce different types of images. These include scanning electron microscopes (SEM), transmission electron microscopes (TEM), aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopes (ACTEM), most modern TEMs and ACTEMs can also be operated in a scanning mode: scanning transmission electron microscopes (STEM).

What is the difference between an electron microscope and a light microscope?

Electron microscopes use a beam of electrons to produce an image, while light (or optical) microscopes use a beam of light. Electron microscopes can capture images at a higher resolution than light microscopes. This makes electron microscopy better suited for studying samples with features smaller than 200 nm. Light microscopes have an image resolution of about 200 nm, compared to a typical resolution in the 10 to ~0.1 nm range for EM depending on the technique and instrument.


Other EMC Analytical techniques


Materials Synthesis /processing