Scanning Electron Microscope

Scanning Electron Microscope

Scanning electron microscope and a desk with two monitors.The University of Washington Bothell installed a Hitachi SU5000 Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with an energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) microanalysis system (SEM/EDX) in 2017.

This instrument enhances the UW Bothell research infrastructure and encourages more diverse, high-impact research program development and research in a range of multidisciplinary fields including electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, material science, and bioengineering, and microbiology.

The average human eye can see objects approximately 0.1 mm in size, yet a SEM/EDX can observe objects smaller than 1 micrometer using a focused beam of high-energy electrons to generate a variety of signals at the surface of solid specimens. These signals reveal information about the sample including surface morphology (texture),Dr. Choi standing next to Malia Steward who is sitting in front of the scanning electron microscope chemical element composition, and crystalline structure as a result of electron-sample interactions.

This instrument was purchased with a National Science Foundation Major Research Instrument (NSF MRI) grant and specifically chosen to meet immediate and foreseeable future research needs. The microscope is capable of covering a broad range of imaging demands and EDX analysis, which maximizes the number of researchers, and types of research, who can use the microscope. The SEM/EDX is an increasingly common research tool used in industry research and transforms education at UW Bothell by embedding research and research training within traditional lecture-based courses.

Researchers discover new research directions and use the instrument to explore efficient light trapping of organic solar cells, biocompatibility of electrochemical sensors, nanomorphology of various organic/inorganic materials. Research groups currently use the instrument in a diverse array of research and teaching portfolios.

View equipment in the SEM/EDX room

Scanning Electron Microscope location at UW Bothell: Discovery Hall, room 367A