Imaging Center

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences operates a multi-instrument microscopy lab that serves the Science Departments in the College, as well as faculty and students throughout the University. Instrumentation includes a confocal microscope, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, and several fluorescence microscopes.

Leica TCS SP8 Four Channel Spectral Confocal Microscope


Confocal microscopy is an optical imaging technique where by the optical resolution is increased by the addition of a spatial pinhole placed at the confocal plane of the lens to eliminate the out-of-focus light from above and below the point of focus in an object.  Our Leica SP8 inverted confocal microscope (acquired in May, 2016) provides the ability to acquire high-resolution, optically sectioned images from within a thick sample (in either fixed or living cells and tissue) or to reduce background fluorescence from thin cultures.  Other features of the SP8 include: high sensitivity point confocal, high-sensitivity GaAsP HyD detectors with photon counting, spectrally tunable emission bands, a resonant scanner for low photo-toxicity, 3D z-stacks, time lapse imaging, stitching, and multi-position time lapse imaging.

Hitachi S-3000N Scanning Electron Microscope


The Hitachi S-3000N Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope is capable of imaging specimens at high vacuum and also in a variable pressure range from 1 - 270 Pa. This allows non-conducting specimens such as insulating materials and water or oil containing samples to be imaged without sputter coating. It has a tungsten filament (electron source) and a secondary electron detector for use in high vacuum only, as well as backscattered and absorbed electron detectors which can be used in both high vacuum and variable pressure modes.


  • Secondary electron resolution: 3.5nm to 50nm (high vacuum mode)
  • Backscatter electron resolution: 5.5nm to 100nm (variable pressure mode)
  • Magnification: 15 to ~300,000x
  • Filament: Tungsten filament
  • Accelerating voltage: 0.3 to 30 kV
  • Maximum Specimen size:150mm diameter x 20mm high

Hitachi H-7600Transmission Electron Microscope


The Hitachi H-7600 Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) has a 20–120 kV operating voltage and an imaging range of 50x – 600000x with a high-resolution lattice observation greater than 0.204 nm at 120 kV. With both high contrast and high resolution modes, the H-7600 is designed for multiple applications: biological samples such as thin sections of fixed embedded tissue, metal shadowing of purified proteins, immuno-electron microscopy to material science specimens such as nanoparticles, nano-catalysts and light polymers. This TEM is equipped with an EDAX Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) system for elemental analysis of imaged samples.

Leica DM LMD Fluorescence Microscope


The Leica LMD fluorescence upright microscope is a laser microdissection system that employs a contact- and contamination-free method for the microscopic isolation of specific single cells or entire areas of tissue from a wide variety of tissue samples.

Zeiss Stemi SV11 APO Stereo Microscope with Fluorescence


The Zeiss Stemi SV11 APO Stereo (or Dissecting) Microscope offers a large object field and extended working distances making it suitable for the observation of large biological samples to the inspection/analysis of rough materials surfaces. This Stemi SV11 is also equipped with a fluorescence lamp and filters sets for acquiring fluorescent images.   

EMS 150R ES Rotary-Pumped Carbon and Sputter Coating System

Sputter Coater

The EMS150R ES is a compact rotary-pumped coating system for both sputter coating non-conducting/ poorly conducting SEM specimens with non-oxidizing metals, such as gold or gold/palladium, and for carbon coating SEM specimens for Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS).

Leica EM CPD300 Automated Critical Point Dryer

Critical point dryer

The Leica EM CPD300 critical point dryer is used to dehydrate and preserve the surface morphology of biological or industrial samples prior to examination under the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).  This automated, controlled technique ensures reproducible results and the same sample quality from every run. In addition, the software controlled cut-off functions of the CPD300 make it much safer to use than our previous manual critical point dryer.

Ancillary Equipment:

               2 Reichert-Jung Ultracut E Ultramicrotomes

                2 RMC MT6000-XL Ultramicrotomes

                   RMC MT5000 Ultramicrotome

Cover image

Microscopy Facility Manager

Nancy Peltier
Mendel Hall Room 014


Principles of Confocal Microscopy

Leica SP8 Confocal Microscope Tutorial

Leica LAS X 3D Analysis Tutorial