Jackson School of Geosciences
Geology Department
Department of Geological SciencesBureau of Economic GeologyInstitute for Geophysics
E-Beam Lab Main Training Policy JEOL JXA-8200 EPMA Phillips/FEI XL30 ESEM JEOL JSM-6490LV SEM Bruker D8 XRD Other Instruments
Electron Microbeam Lab

Enviromental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM)

Contact: Dr. Donggao Zhao
Phone: 512-471-1177 (O), 512-471-4949 (lab)

Location  GEO 5.106B

Philips/FEI XL30



Installed in the fall of 2001, this instrument has a wide range of electron scanning capabilities. Just like a conventional scanning electron microscope (SEM), the Environmental SEM, produces images of surface features at very high magnifications (100X to 100,000X). The ESEM however does not require high vacuum in the specimen chamber, allowing us to observe samples (even wet ones) under conditions more similar to those in which the sample existed in nature (“environmental” conditions). Operated in ESEM mode it is possible to observe specimens in hydration states extending to 100%. Because conductive coatings are not required, the ESEM is also of great interest for looking at visible light generated in crystals by the electron beam (cathodoluminescence). Standard “high vac” SEM operation is also an option. Detectors include a light element EDS detector and a Gatan cathodoluminescence detector with RGB color filtration for observation of near-true luminescent color. An EBSD detector was installed summer 2006.



Like the SEM, the ESEM accommodates a wide range of sample types. Small rock chips, grain mounts, and thin sections are all possible.
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