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Electron Microscopes and Material Characterization Instrumentation

All of the electron microscopes in the facility are manufactured by Hitachi.
View/Download an overview of our electron microscopes.


View more information on the NB5000

Ion beam – Ga ions
Energy – 40 kV & 60-100 nA
Resolution – 5 nm @ 40 kV

E beam – Schotkey diode
Energy – 30 kV variable current
Resolution – 1 nm @ 30 kV

Provides ultra-high-resolution FE SEM.
Exceptional ion milling stability and high performance
Automated mill-and-monitor operations for 3D reconstructions
Slicing steps less than 10 nm.
Dual optics mode with magnetic-field-free live imaging during FIB milling.
Analytical Capabilities: EDS, EBSD

TEM Sample Prep
Sample manipulation
Surface treatment
3D Microscopy
Ion imaging
Ion-induced SE imaging


View more information on the H9500

Source – LaB6
Resolution – 0.1 nm at 300 kV
Best resolution at Clemson University
Magnification – X 2,000,000

Inorganic materials
Polymeric materials
Monitoring crystal lattice
Diffraction analysis


Download information on the capabilites of the Autosorb iQ instrument.

Quantachrome Autosorb iQ Gas Sorption Analyzer, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina
Clemson recently acquired a gas sorption analyzer that provides new capabilities for characterizing porous materials. The instrument is a Quantachrome Autosorb iQ, pictured right. It is capable of making a wide variety of gas physisorption and chemisorption measurements on solid samples, that may be complementary to microscopic measurements of sample structure on sub-micrometer scales.

For information on rates, click here.

For information on how to submit samples for analysis, click here for chemisorption analysis or click here for physisorption analysis.


Download information on the capabilites of the HD2000 Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope.

Source – Field Emission
Resolution – 0.24 nm at 200 kV
Magnification – X 2,000,000

Fast sample throughput 20 to 30 times faster than TEM
Chemical analysis with EDS
Ideally suited for industrial applications where faster sample throughput and TEM resolution is required.
Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS)
Spot/Linescan/Mapping 0.8nm/0.5nm/0.3nm


120 kV TEM
Imaging Range: 50x - 600000X
High-Resolution Lattice Observation >0.204nm @ 120 kV
Sample Tilt – +60 to -60 deg
Biological samples, Light Polymers, Nanoparticles, nano-Catalysts


Resolution – 1 nm @ 30 kV, 1.4 nm @ 1 kV
Source – Field Emission
Analysis capability – EDS

Magnification up to 300K
STEM capability
Best for biological / materials samples
Great resolution at low kV
Chemical and structure analysis


Resolution – 1 nm @ 30 kV
Source – Schottky (FE)

Designed for high resolution work at variable pressure
No need to coat conducting layer
Magnification up to 300K
STEM capability


Source – Tungsten filament
Resolution – 3 nm @ 30 kV , 10 nm @ 3 kV, 4 nm @ 30 kV (BSE)

Charge free sample surface
No need to coat conducting layer
Magnification up to 300K
Chemical and structure analysis

X-Ray X-Ray

X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Auger Electron Spectroscopy (XPS & AES)

XPS is a surface sensitive spectroscopic technique to measure elemental composition with chemical and electronic state of the elements from sample material. The technique is based on X-ray irradiation of material that results in emission of photoelectrons from up to ~10 nm of the surface. XPS can be used to analyze the surface chemistry of a material in its as-received state.

Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) is also a surface sensitive spectroscopic technique. The Auger effect is a physical phenomenon in which the filling of an inner-shell vacancy of an atom is accompanied by the emission of an electron from the same atom. When a core electron is emitted, creating vacancy, an electron from a higher energy level fills the vacancy, resulting in a release of energy. Often this energy is emitted in the form of a photon, sometimes the energy can also be transferred to another electron, which is ejected from the atom; this second ejected electron is called an Auger electron.

At Clemson University Electron Microscopy Facility, we have combined Physical Electronics PHI VersaProbe III Scanning ESCA Microprobe (XPS) and Scanning Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) capabilities with following features:

  1. XPS Instrumentation with “scanning” monochromatic x-ray source, a motorized specimen stage, an electron energy analyzer and state-of-the-art associated electron optics.
  2. Small spot (<10 µm ) scanning X-ray source and imaging capabilities designed on similar approach used for electron microscopy. The instrument is be capable of producing and displaying a secondary electron (SE) image generated by the raster scanned x-ray spot. Multiple regions for further spectral analysis within the field of view is selectable from the captured image using the instrument software, without changing the position of the specimen or translating the specimen stage.
  3. The instrument is capable of <10um multi-point analysis within the FOV without moving the stage. Types of analysis include survey spectra, high-resolution spectra, and multi-point depth profiling.
  4. The instrument is equipped with a 180° hemispherical electron analyzer designed for small spot sensitivity for secondary electrons, photoelectrons, and auger electrons.
  5. The instrument will have a charge neutralization capability that permits the analysis of electrically insulating materials. This is based upon a dedicated adjustable low-energy electron source, which may be used in conjunction with a low-energy ion source.
  6. The instrument is equipped with a computer-controlled ion gun capable of removing material from specimens by bombarding with argon (Ar) ions. This is useful during sputter depth profile experiments.
  7. The instrument is equipped with a C60 cluster ion gun, adjustable up to 20 kV, aligned to sputter the specimen at the analysis point without translation of the specimen. The instrument is capable of sputtering a mixture or alternating layers of inorganic and organic films.
  8. The instrument will have an electron gun controlled by the same computer and operating software to capture Auger Electron Spectra. The electron source is capable of producing spot size <100nm for AES imaging and spectra. Switching between XPS and AES will take less than 5 seconds.
  9. The instrument will contain a precision five (5) axis (X, Y, Z, rotation, tilt) motorized stage. The stage is capable of continuous motorized 360 deg. rotation during ion sputtering.
  10. The instrument will have a sample heating stage. The sample stage is capable of in-situ heating and cooling from -140 C to +600 C.
  11. The instrument is equipped with an automated bake out system capable of baking out the instrument. The instrument will allow the bake out time to be operator selectable, and will include automatic shutoff of the bake out system when done. The instrument is equipped with interlocks to terminate the bake out in the event of pressure overload, ion pump failure, or excessive temperatures.
Sample Tools

Table top SEM with EDS capability

Sputter Coaters


Sample cutting and polishing