Microscopes provide closer look at science, engineering

Monday, April 3, 2006

A gift of $100,000 from an anonymous donor has given SCSU a scanning electron microscope (SEM), powerful equipment that  will enhance students’ learning and research as well as research by faculty members. The gift prompted SCSU to purchase an equally powerful scanning probe microscope (SPM)  that will complement that learning and research.

An SEM offers 3-D images with higher magnification and greater depth of focus than optical microscopes, as well as chemical analysis. It can be used to determine the reasons for parts failures and to study biological tissues, integrated circuits, chemical compounds and geologic strata.

An SPM, used to measure surface properties, can resolve features on the atomic scale. The technology has been used to image everything from electronic circuit components and mineral samples to cells and DNA.

The equipment will be used in the university’s biology, chemistry, physics, earth science and mechanical, manufacturing and electrical engineering programs. The complementary systems will enhance students’ education, faculty research and university support of area industries’ product development efforts.

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