Electron Microscopy Centre

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The Electron Microscopy Centre at Utrecht University is devoted to the development and application of electron microscopy methodologies for life sciences and materials science research. It covers the entire range of specimen preparation, electron microscopy data collection and analysis, spectroscopic methods, and 3D reconstruction techniques. The infrastructure includes several advanced Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM) and Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM), with a full range of imaging modes and analytical tools.

Life sciences

For life sciences research, the facility houses equipment for the preparation of biological specimens with preservation of ultrastructures (including cryo-fixation, freeze-substitution, and high-pressure freezing of samples), immunolabeling, serial sectioning, and high-resolution electron tomography (ET) to study three dimensional structure of cells, tissues, and protein complexes. We have a strong collaboration with the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) for cell biology imaging.

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Materials science

For materials science research, the facility offers a wide range of imaging and spectrometric modalities such as bright-field and dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), electron diffraction (ED), chemical mapping using energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) and electron energy loss spectrometry (EELS). For performing experiments inside the electron microscope, dedicated specimen holders are available including cryo-, heating, liquid cell and gas cell holders.

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The Electron Microscopy Center of Utrecht University is a flagship node in the Netherlands Electron Microscopy Infrastructure NEMI, and is part of both the National Roadmap EPOS-NL infrastructure and the European EXCITE infrastructure for characterization of geosciences samples. We are also working with Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht UMCU, The Dutch Society for Microscopy NVvM and The Netherlands Centre for Electron Nanoscopy NeCEN.

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