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AMMC Microscopy Suite

We have a fully comprehensive electron microscopy facility within WMG ranging from desktop Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to Scanning/Transmission Electron Microscopy (S/TEM) and a range of equipment for sample preparation. Hover over each machine to find out more.

For more information about access to the AMMC microscopy lab and training, click here

Optical Microscopes

The Alicona G5 is a coaxial lit Infinite Focus Microscope (IFM) capable of quantitative metrology of surfaces and capturing 3D images.

Alicona G5

The Keyence VHX7000 is a digital optical microscope with a magnification range between x30-x6000. The fully automated stage allows for easy stitched imaging and 3D data reconstruction. The 'Optical Shadow Effect Mode' enables enhanced imaging of uneven surfaces.

Keyence VHX7000


A compact and easy to use SEM that is ideal for basic imaging requirements. Equipped with secondary electron and back-scattered electron detectors as well as an Oxford Instruments EDS detector.

Hitachi TM3030+

A FEG SEM with Secondary Electron (SE) (ET and Inlens) and Back Scattered Electron (BSE) (Solid-State) detectors. This microscope is also equipped with EDS, EBSD, and various insitu stages.

Zeiss Sigma

An analytical FEG SEM with a range of SE and BS detectors (ET, SS BS, In-lens BS and SE). This microscope is also equipped with EDS/WDS and a high-speed EBSD detectors.

JEOL 7800F

Dual Beam

A dualbeam FEG SEM/FIB system with SE(ET) and BSE (solid state) detectors, along with high speed EDS and EBSD detectors. The Versa 3D is ideal for general FIB-sectioning, TEM sample preparation, nano-patterning, inclusion anlysis and non-standard EBSD (e.g. 3D EBSD and TKD).

FEI Versa 3D

A dualbeam FEG SEM/FIB system with SE (ET) and BSE (solid state) detectors. This system is equipped with EDS and quadrupole SIMS detectors for chemical analysis. Study of air-sensitive samples is made possible with the airless transfer system. The Scios is ideal for general FIB-sectioning, TEM sample preparation and 3D imaging.

FEI Scios


The Talos F200X Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) provides fast and precise materials characterisation down to the atomic scale. The talos is capable of imaging in either conventional TEM mode or in Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM) mode.

The Talos is equipped with a range of analytical detectors and holders that enable a wide range of materials characterisation, including:

  • Bright-field (BF), Annular Dark-Field (ADF), and High Angle Annular Dark Field (HAADF) STEM detectors.
  • STEM resolution ≤0.14nm
  • High performance 4K Ceta camera.
  • Super-X quad EDS detector for chemical mapping.
  • High-tilt tomography holder enabling 3D reconstruction.
  • Nanomegas enabling scanning precesion electron diffraction for nano-scale orientation and phase mapping.
  • DENS Solutions Wildfire In-situ heating holder which allows for simultaneous sample heating and imaging inside the microscope.
  • A Model 2560 Fischione vacuum transfer tomography holder.

Park Systems NX10 AFM

The Park Systems NX10 Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is a versatile and easy-to-use AFM system capable of providing nanoscale information about the surface of a sample. 3D surface topography information can be obtained using one of the standard imaging modes, including: true non-contact AFM, basic contact AFM, phase imaging, tapping AFM and more.

Our Park Systems NX10 AFM is also capable of a range of other imaging modes, including:

  • Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM). (The system is also equipped with a variable magnetic field generator).
  • Conductive AFM (C-AFM).
  • Electric Force Microscopy (EFM).
  • Force Distance (F/d) spectroscopy.

Micro-XRF & Nanoindenter

The M4 Tornado µ-X-Ray Florescence (XRF) is fitted with dual EDS detectors. The system is capable of scanning large samples (190 x 160 mm2 and up to 5 kg) to study chemical homogeneity and segregation quantitatively.

M4 Tornado Bruker Micro XRF

Nanoindentation instrument (Micro Materials Ltd: NanoTest Xtreme) allows for quasi-static indentation testing at either room temperature or at low/high temperatures. The instrument can be operated at a maximum load of up to 500 mN. Other advanced functionalities are also available.

Micromaterials Nanoindenter

Sample Preparation

The Hitachi IM4000plus Broad Beam Ion Miller can be used to prepare samples where mechanical damage is an issue. It can be operated in either flat milling (for surface polishing) or cross-sectional mode. Airless transfer is available for both milling methods.

Hitachi Broad-beam Ion Miller

The Cressington 206HR is a high-resolution coater using a 80/20 Au/Pd target as standard (Pt, Au, Cu and Cr targets are also available). The sputter coater allows for deposition of a thin layer of conductive material on a sample to prevent charging and beam damage during observation in a SEM.

Cressington Sputter Coater

A Labtech Safematic CCU-010 carbon evaporator with thickness monitoring capability. This system is perfect for depositing carbon prior to Carbon Extraction Replicas and can also reduce charging and beam damage during observation. The system also has a built-in plasma treatment unit for cleaning samples.

Labtech Carbon Evaporator

The Hitachi Zone II SEM UV cleaner uses vacuum-controlled UV irradiation and activated oxygen to to gently and rapidly "clean" sample surfaces. Hydrocarbon contaminations can be minimised or eliminated from samples before observation in a SEM.

Hitachi UV Cleaner

The airless transfer hub allow samples for other systems to be loaded in an air-free environment. Other systems within the airless transfer workflow include the Talos, Scios, Sigma, Broad-beam ion miller, and PIPS II.

Airless Transfer Hub

The Gatan PIPS (precision ion polishing system) allows for polishing of samples prepared using FIB and reduces unwanted artefacts, such as sample amorphisation, left over by FIB sample prep. Airless transfer is available with this machine.