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In 1996, a facility was established in order to house two scanning electron microscopes and a transmission electron microscope. The Zeiss LSM 510 Confocal Microscope, which was purchased in 2001, was eventually housed in the facility. In August 2009, the Nikon suite of microscopes was added to the CLIF.
One of the original scanning electron microscopes was relocated to the Clemson Electron Microscopy Facility in Pendleton, SC, and there are plans to surplus the second SEM by July 2010. The Hitachi Transmission Electron Microscope was placed on loan to Southern Wesleyan University and transported to the SWU campus in July 2009.
The Zeiss microscope was purchased in 2001with an NSF EPSCOR equipment grant, which was the result of the combined efforts of Bob LaTour (Bioengineering, CoES) and A. P. Wheeler (Biological Sciences, CAFLS). This microscope was the first multi-user confocal microscope at Clemson, and has been a valuable tool for researchers from both CAFLS and CoES. Since the time of this purchase, significant advances in the field of confocal microscopy have been made. Additionally, Clemson researchers in fields outside of the traditional life sciences, including materials science, have begun to utilize this tool.
In August 2009, the Nikon suite of state-of-the-art microscopes was added to the JHIF. This suite of microscopes boasts an amazing level of interchangeability of objectives, filters, data collection software, and camera systems, making it a truly unique and flexible light microscopy system. In addition to shared optics and filter blocks, all of the microscopes may be equipped with either a 12-mp color camera or a high sensitivity quantitative monochrome camera, as well as the spectral confocal system. In addition to the four tunable lasers for the confocal system, a TIRF laser system is available for use. The three new microscope systems offer a wide range of capabilities that are beneficial not only to the visualization of fixed tissues/cells and live cells, but to the visualization of materials, including nanoparticles and porous membranes.
The microscopes were purchased from Nikon Instruments using monies secured in part by Andy Mount (Biological Sciences, PSA, CAFLS) through the PSA sponsored CRIF (Clemson Research Initiative Fund) program. In addition to funds from CRIF, CAFLS, PSA, ENG and the Department of Biological Sciences, nine individual researchers from both CAFLS and CoES, contributed grant monies for the purchase of the Nikon equipment.