Scanning Electron Microscope

Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, in 2010 Whitman acquired a FEI Quanta 250 environmental scanning electron microscope (E-SEM).

The Quanta 250 sample chamber operates in three different vacuum modes and this, plus the cold stage, facilitates the analysis of biological specimens as well as uncoated archaeological, geological, or synthetic materials. An Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) by Thermo has a state-of-the-art Peltier-cooled, 30mm2 silicon drift detector that allows semi-quantitative chemical analysis and x-ray mapping. In the first two years of operation, more than 14 student users and 11 faculty have used the E-SEM for their research and teaching. Please contact Michelle Shafer, Whitman's imaging coordinator and BBMB technician, or Dr. Kirsten Nicolaysen in the Geology Department to arrange for training, a tour, or use of the instrument.


See Microscope magnifies opportunities for scientists.

For specimen preparation we have a microtome and two sputter coaters, one dedicated to carbon for geological samples and one platinum-gold coater for biological specimens.