Lab Services

JEOL JSM IT800HL Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

In March, 2024, a new JEOL JSM IT800HL Scanning Electron Microscope was installed. It uses an In lens Schottky plus field emission electron gun, which can achieve a resolution of 0.7 nm @ 1kV, 0.5 nm @ 15 kV. This instrument has amazing beam control and power - At 30kV, we can use beam currents of a few pA to 500nA (100nA at 5 kV), and can read the exact beam current using an in-column probe current detector (PCD). This SEM also has a a low vacuum mode for samples which cannot be coated or are susceptible to charging. We also have a new ACE600 Leica carbon coater which provides the ability to coat to a selected thickness.


  • Low and high Vacuum backscatter and secondary electron detector
  • In lens detector
  • Oxford Instruments Symmetry S3 Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD)
  • Oxford Instruments Ultim Max 100m2 127eV Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS)
  • Oxford Instruments Wave 500 wavelenth dispersive Spectrometer (WDS)
  • Deben Centaurus Cathodoluminescence detector.

Additional information showing example data collected using each detector will be added shortly.

Recharge rates for the new JEOL SEM
UC independentUC w/ assistExternal independentExternal w/ assist
Per Hour$35$135$130$195
Overnight (automated)$200n/a$350n/a
Weekend (automated)$400n/a$700n/a

Carbon coating - $30 per ‘run’. As long as your samples fit, you could coat 1 or 5 for $30 (we can fit 6 1” rounds). If you can find someone else who wants the same coat as you, you will only be billed half!

Assistance rates apply for hours where you are being helped/trained on the instrument. Overnight and Weekend rates are for automated analyses during those slots.  For example, if you come at 3 pm on Friday, and we spend 2 hours with you setting up lots of EDS maps, which then run all weekend, you will be billed for 2 hrs at the assistance rate, and then the weekend rate ontop of that. If the maps run until 9am the next morning, you will be billed for the overnight rate + the set up rates.

Contact Name: 

John Grimsich


Image of a Scanning Electron Microscope

Additional Facilities: Recharge Rates

There is a recharge fee for use of the facilities needed for maintenance and training. Make arrangements in advance by contacting John Grimsich: Rates are per hour and differ for internal users (UC) and external users (private).

Lab Service Rates
EPS UndergradUCUCExternalExternal
independentindependentw/ assistanceindependentw/ assistance
Rock Crushing & General Sample Prep:XXXX$17.00$45.00$50.00$90.00
Thin Section Lab, Grinding & Polishing Equipment:XXXX$17.00$45.00$50.00$90.00
Speciality Lab Projects:XXXXXXXX$105.00XXXX$150.00
Contact Name: John Grimsich

Sample Preparation

The Department maintains extensive facilities for sample preparation producing thin sections, polished sections, rock powders and mineral separates. There are several saws for making cuts at different scales. There are automatic and manual grinders and polishers using diamond, SiC, alumina and colloidal silica. A variety of epoxies and temporary adhesives are available for different applications. Rock crushing and separating equipment includes a jaw crusher, disc mill, sieves, a shatterbox for making powders and two magnetic separators. There is also a fully equipped machine shop, wood shop and carbon coater.

Petrographic Thin Section Lab and Student Rock Shop 
Production of 30 micron thin sections and polished thin sections. Cutting of samples to a variety of sizes Mounts made for Electron Microprobe, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). Additional products include grain mounts and fluid inclusion sections. High temperature sample preparation (eg. XRD clay mounts). The thin section lab and student rock shop contains the following equipment:

• 10” Diamond trim saw (water cooled)
• Wafering saw with 150μm blade
• Manual thin section saw (kerosene cooled)
• Four lapidary grinding wheels
• Diamond grinding wheel
• Large hot plate with fume hood
• Drying oven
• Vacuum impregnation device and desiccators
• Six polishing machines
• Three petrographic microscopes
• Two dissecting scopes
• Three fume hoods
• 6” Diamond trim saw
• 8” Diamond trim saw
• 24” Diamond slab saw
• Thin section saws (water cooled)
• Drying oven
• Spex pulverizer with tungsten carbide and alumina dishes
• Spex mixer/shaker
• Sieves with shaker and sample splitters
• Muffle furnace, max temperature 1000°C
• Frantz magnetic separator

Rock Crushing Lab 
Crushing, coring, and cutting of samples with the following equipment:

• Rock breaking table
• Jaw crusher
• Two Bico disc mills
• Coring machine
• 10” Diamond hydraulic saw
• Drying oven
• Dust collection system

Machine and Wood Shop

Fabrication of metal, plastics and wood for experimental and lab work using the following equipment:

• 2 lathes
• Milling machine with digital readout
• 2 drill presses
• 2 band saws
• 2 belt sanders
• Bending brake
• Shear
• 10” Jet table saw
• 10” Makita sliding miter saw
• Hand power tools
• Multiple pipe and bar clamps

Contact Name: 
John Grimsich

X-Ray Diffraction Lab (XRD)

XRD is used to identify and characterize crystal phases in powdered samples. Minerals and synthetic crystals produce characteristic x-ray patterns that can be compared with a database of known phases using analytical software. The department has a PANalytical X’Pert Pro diffractometer equipped with a Co x-ray tube and the very fast X’Celerator detector. The unit has a 15 position sample changer and a set of low background sample holders for samples as small as 1 milligram.

XRD Specs
• Panalytical X’Pert Pro
• 15 position sample changer
• X’Celerator fast detector 100x faster than scintillation counter
• Co tube
• Silicon and quartz zero background plates for samples down to 1mg. 

Contact Name: 
John Grimsich