Electron Microscopy Facility

This research facility is one of several core research facilities at Brown that provide access to specialized, high capital cost research tools and is administered by the Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation (IMNI).  The Electron Microscopy Facility at Brown is operated as a cost center where the annual cost of supplies, service contracts, and personnel is recovered through an hourly charge to users for their instrument beam time.

EMF is located in the basement of the Barus & Holley Building on the Brown campus.  The Electron Microscopy Facility was designed to house a suite of electron microscopes and, as such, each room has the power, cooling water supply, and HVAC necessary to run a modern microscope.  These rooms have been mapped for stray fields and, being in the basement, are well isolated from vibration.  The Barus & Holley building is home to the School of Engineering and the Physics Department. The departments of Chemistry and Geology are located less than a city block from the facility.  The Electron Microscopy Facility occupies more than 3,000 square feet of space and is accessible to authorized users of the Brown research community  on a 24 hour/7 day basis.  Authorized users are able to reserve time on the instruments using an on-line, web-based system.  EMF welcomes users from departments across the Brown campus as well as external academic and industrial users.  

 The Electron Microscopy Facility serves the research and teaching needs of faculty, researchers, and students in the physical and biological sciences at Brown University and is available to outside academic and, in most cases, industry users.  The laboratory instrumentation currently consists of:

FEI CM 20 - TEM 

The FEI CM20 is available for applications that require high tilt, moderate resolution (0.23 nm), and chemical analysis (EDS).  This 200 kV analytical (S)TEM  allows the large specimen tilts needed for dislocation characterization and weak-beam imaging applications. It is equipped with an x-ray spectrometer and low background double tilt holder. Compositional analysis is performed on this instrument using energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy.   Images are recorded using a large field of view, side mounted, digital image acquisition system. 

FEI Helios - FIB

This tool is fully equipped for (near) simultaneous ion/electron beam imaging and patterning of specimens. Two metals, W and Pt are available for ion (or electron) beam stimulated deposition of conducting lines.  An Omniprobe AutoProbe 200.2 allows the physical manipulation of samples with nanometer precision and is used along with Pt metal deposition and standard FIB trenching to allow the selection and removal of electron transparent TEM samples from specific microstructural features.  A Nabity pattern generation system (plus beam blanker and external scan interface) controls either the ion or electron beam for high resolution, interlaced pattern generation used in the FIB fabrication of nanostructures.  Three dimensional crystallographic data can be generated from specimens using the fully automated EBSD system (Oxford HKL&EBS-3).
JEOL 845 - SEM

The JSM-845 is a tungsten filament SEM, with a specimen chamber that can accept larger samples (6" wafers, for example) and is capable of 4.0 nm resolution at 25 kV.   This instrument is equipped with a fully automated Oxford EBSD system which obtains electron backscattering patterns (EBSP), and as it automatically steps the probe across the surface, determines the crystallographic orientation (surface normal) of all of the grains on the surface of a specimen.  This remarkable technology has emerged as the premier technique for performing orientation studies since it provides an image of the grains of the specimen and the specific orientation of each grain in that image.

JEOL 2100F - S(TEM)

The 2100F is a 200 kV, field emission source, high-resolution/analytical S(TEM) capable of 0.10 nm lattice resolution. It is primarily used for obtaining lattice images or when chemical or crystallographic information is required from laterally small areas (1-10 nm). The instrument is equipped with an x-ray spectrometer capable of light element detection, a Gatan image filter (GIF) for element and phase analyses, a high tilt holder for electron tomography and a high-resolution CCD camera system for digital image acquisition and processing. A low background double-tilt holder for chemical analysis by EDS, a standard double tilt holder, a heating holder capable of 1000C, and a heating straining holder are available.  Probes as small as 1 nm in diameter are accessible for micro-diffraction experiments.

LEO 1530 - SEM

The LEO 1530 VP ultra-high resolution field emitter SEM that is a fully computer-controlled instrument and allows for a resolution of 1 nm at a voltage of 20 kV in high vacuum and 2 nm at 30 kV in the variable pressure mode.  It is fully equipped with EDS for chemical mapping and has a cryo-stage for biological samples.  The instrument is equipped with Nabity pattern generating software a high speed beam blanker and is set-up for high resolution electron-beam lithography.  The LEO 1530 VP is capable of a resolution of 2.1 nm at very low electron energies (1 kV) which is of great use for beam-sensitive materials like polymers and insulating surfaces.  Also very useful for insulating samples is the variable operating pressure mode which allows insulating materials to be imaged without coating the surface. 

For further information contact:  

David C. Paine
Director, Electron Microscopy Facility
Professor, School of Engineering
P: (401) 863-1457
Box D, Brown University

Anthony McCormick
Microscopist, Electron Microscopy Facility
P:  (401) 863-3909
Box D, Brown University 

Administrative Contact: 

Sue Prendergast
Assistant Director, IMNI
P:  (401) 863-2184
F:   (401) 863-1387