University of Wollongong Electron Microscopy Centre
As part of the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM), the UOW Electron Microscopy Centre (EMC) is a centralised, state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to providing quality electron and conventional microscopy based solutions to UOW’s flagship research groups in the Physical and Life Sciences, Engineering and Nanotechnology.
The microscopy suites and well-equipped sample preparation laboratories at the EMC offer a wide range of advanced instrumentation, capabilities and techniques for material characterisation. With an active user base of over 130 users, the EMC is crucial in providing materials expertise through the training, servicing and support of researchers involved in undergraduate, postgraduate, industrial and government research projects.
Based on their unique areas of specialised expertise, the EMC staff undertake research projects in applied microscopy via a combination of individual work, collaboration with industry/organisation partners or through the co-supervision of students.
What's happening at EMC
Cutting-edge building design
The EMC is located at UOW’s Innovation campus (iC) in Building 236. It is the first purpose-built building of its kind in New South Wales and only the second in Australia. In 2011, the EMC was selected as the entry for New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory for the Australian Timber Design Awards and won The People’s Choice Award. Its construction was specifically designed to exceed the infrastructure requirements for the next generation of high resolution microscopes and their ancillary tools. The building environment for each of the seven microscopy suites follows a modular tiered system that minimises the environmental effects from mechanical vibration, ambient acoustic signals, thermal fluctuations and electrical, electromagnetic and magnetic interference.
Advanced instrumentation and sample preparation
The EMC comprises a total of seven microscopy suites that optimise individual microscope performance, two modern and well-equipped specimen preparation laboratories, utility/service corridors plus open plan offices for research and technical staff, higher degree research (HDR) students and visiting academics.
At present, five instruments are installed and include an aberration-corrected cold Field Emission Gun (FEG) transmission electron microscope (TEM), a conventional LaB6 TEM, an analytical thermal FEG scanning electron microscope (SEM), a cold FEG-SEM and a low vacuum/environmental SEM.
Special emphasis has been placed on the design and fit-out of the two specimen preparation laboratories at the EMC by partnering with Struers Australia and Leica Microsystems GmbH. These showcase demonstration laboratories are designed to be ancillary to our microscopy suites by housing high precision cutters, quality grinding and polishing tools, room temperature and cryogenic microtomes for serial sectioning and highly accurate, target-preparation –based ion polishing systems.
The EMC and its specialist staff provide quality microscopy solutions and training to students, commercial organisations, industry and government agencies. Our services include:
- Microscope use and sample preparation
- Consultancy services
- Contract research and development projects
- Collaborative research and development projects
- Training and seminars