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Imaging Suite

The Imaging Suite provides electron, visible light, and scanned probe services to all types of users from industry and academia.


The Imaging Suite is part of the School of Science and Technology and located in the new £23 million Medical Technologies Innovation Facility (MTIF) research facility based at the Clifton Campus. The Imaging Suite supports the provision of electron, visible light, and scanned probe microscopy and associated spectroscopy services for internal and external customers for commercial, research and teaching.

Find out more about the state-of-the-art equipment available in our Imaging suite.

Transmission Electron Microscopy

The JEOL JEM-2100Plus Transmission Electron Microscope / Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope

Configured with the high-resolution pole-piece and applicable to a wide range of applications. Offering a lattice image resolution of 0.14 nm and a point to point resolution of 0.23 nm, in STEM BF mode the edge to edge resolution is up to 1.0 nm. The system is equipped with a LaB6 filament and offers accelerating voltages of 80-200 kV.

  • For CTEM the microscope was equipped with the UK’s first Gatan Rio16 4k*4k CMOS camera.
  • For STEM the microscope is equipped with BF, ADF (including HAADF) and BEI detectors.
  • An EDS detector (JEOL JED-SDD 30 mm2 window) is provided for elemental analysis in CTEM and mapping in STEM modes.

Software is available for tomography in addition to a high tilt holder and a Be analytical double tilt holder for EDS work.

Scanning Electron Microscopy

The JSM-7100F LV FEG-SEM offers a guaranteed resolution for SEI of 1.2 nm (30 kV), 3.0 nm (1 kV), and 3.0 nm (15 kV, probe current 5 nA) with a magnification range of 10 to 1,000,000. The system offers accelerating voltages from 0.2-30 kV with a maximum probe current of 200 nA.

The system is equipped with 5 axis motor-controlled specimen stage X, Y: 70 - 50 mm, Z: 3 - 41 mm, Tilt: -5 to +70 degrees, Rotation: 360 degrees. Sample access is provided with a rapid pump airlock.

The system is equipped for BEI and low vacuum mode in addition to SEI. An Oxford Instruments X-Maxn EDS with 80 mm2 window is also equipped along with the accompanying AZtec analysis software.

Scanning Probe Microscopy

Bruker Dimension Icon® Scanning Probe Microscope with STM and liquid cell.

The microscope offers a comprehensive range of modes: ScanAsyst, Contact AFM, Lateral Force Microscopy, Tapping Mode AFM, Nanomechanical Mapping, Force Spectroscopy, Piezoresponse Force Microscopy, Electric and Magnetic Force Microscopy, Nanoindentation, HarmoniX (mapping of adhesion, stiffness, dissipation), Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (STM) and Optical Microscope Overlay.

Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope 

The SP5 II offers true confocal scanning and is equipped with 6 detectors (2 HyD, 4 PMT including transmitted light) across 400-800 nm (1 nm step) and 8 laser excitation lines (405, 458, 476, 488, 496, 514, 594 and 633 nm). Excitation-emission light separation is achieved by an Acoustic Optical Beam Splitter. The resonant laser scanner has a maximum line frequency of 16 kHz. In addition, detection of transmitted light for BF, DIC and Pol channels is possible.

Scan modes available include xyzt and λ and a motorised stage permits tile scans and mark and find experiments, with additional licenses for colocalization, FRET and FRAP. The SP5 II is supported by the Huygens deconvolution package from SVI.

A live cell imaging capability includes a chamber to maintain temperature and supply premixed gasses, as is appropriate for many mammalian tissue culture systems. Conventional tissue culture incubators are co-located with the microscopes to facilitate experiments.

Widefield Microscopy

A range of upright and inverted microscopes are available for epifluorescence, brightfield, darkfield, phase, polarisation, and differential interference contrast. These microscopes are equipped with modern monochrome or colour CCD detectors. Stage based enviromental chambers such as heated or culture chambers are also available.

Related techniques such as dispersive Raman microscopy, laser capture microdissection (Zeiss PALM), incubator microscopes (e.g. Incucyte) and optical tweezers are available. Please enquire for more information.

Sample preparation facilities

Sample preparation facilities include laboratory space for mounting, embedding, sectioning and staining specimens prior to analysis (please enquire for specific techniques). Facilities include microtomes, an ultramicrotome and stereo microscopes.

For electron microscopy a Quorum Q150R ES is available for sputter coating (Pt, Au), carbon thread evaporation and glow discharge.

Facility hire

The Imaging Suite is completely integrated into the full range of analytical, experimental, and technical services offered by the School of Science and Technology’s commercial arm Scientific Services to Industry (SS2i).

A wide range of additional services can be accessed through SS2i, these can be accessed in a wide range of formats from analysis priced per sample or hour, trained instrument access or customised packages offering a range of support to meet your project needs.

To access the Imaging Suite please call  us +44(0) 115 848 6374 or email

Medical Technologies Innovation Facility (MTIF)

More information on the comprehensive range of services provided by MTIF including tissue culture and ISO class 6 clean room spaces can be found on the MTIF website.