The EMCF installed a new FEI Tecnai G2 Spirit transmission electron microscope in 2009 thanks to the support of the NIH Shared Instrument grant (NIH 1 S10 RR024650 01A1). The instrument is a 120kV, LaB6 equipped microscope and has a goniometer stage and tomography holder for precise tilting of specimens for stereoscopic images, or to orient specimens for optimal viewing. Images are acquired digitally with an AMT digital imaging system.

Tecnai G2 Spirit TEM


For scanning electron microscopy, the facility is equipped with a FEI Quanta 200 SEM installed in 2006. Funding for this instrument was provided by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research as part of the Nebraska Tobacco Biomedical Research & Development Fund. The Quanta can operate in conventional high vacuum mode, variable pressure low vacuum and environmental SEM modes. This range of modes allows for examining non-conductive, beam sensitive and wet specimens as well as conventionally prepared SEM samples. The instrument is also equipped with a new Bruker AXS Quantax XFlash 4010 x-ray microanalysis detector, allowing for elemental microanalysis of SEM samples. The most recent upgrades to the SEM included a beam deceleration module, which allows for better surface detail to be acquired from beam-sensitive samples. In addition, a NavCam accessory was added in 2015, which assists users in locating regions of interest from multiple samples.  All images are acquired digitally.

FEI Quanta 200 SEM

Support Equipment

The facility has supporting equipment for all standard biological specimen preparation protocols.

For TEM, this includes a Leica Ultracut ultramicrotome, LKB glass knifemakers, diamond knives, centrifuges, and embedding oven. A Pelco UV-2 cryochamber is available for low temperature embedding for immunocytochemistry and a Pelco Biowave variable wattage microwave fixation system is used for expedited protocols and increased solution penetration. In addition, a GloQube glow discharge system from Quorum Technologies was added in November, 2016 thanks to funding by the Nebraska Bankers Association. This system allows TEM grids to be plasma treated in order to impart various surface characteristics (hydrophilic, hydrophobic, negative charge, etc.). 

Leica Ultracut

A Leica Ultracut UC7 was added in June, 2017 thanks to funds from the Nebraska Research Initiative.


Pelco Biowave Microwave Processing System GloQube

Support equipment for SEM includes a Pelco critical point drying apparatus and a Hummer VI sputter coater.

Pelco Critical Point Dryer     Hummer VI Sputter Coater