The Electron Microscopy Facility

The Electron Microscopy Facility (EMF) at San Francisco State University houses a Carl Zeiss Ultra 55 Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM). The facility director provides SFSU faculty and students with images and microanalysis on naturally-occurring and fabricated nano-structures across a broad range of disciplines. SFSU researchers are warmly encouraged to contact the facility director for further information regarding microscopy services and how the EMF can provide support for classes through live demonstrations.

Carl Zeiss Ultra 55 (FE-SEM)

The Carl Zeiss Ultra 55 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM) detectors include a chamber-mounted Everhart-Thornley detector (collects secondary and backscattered electrons), an in-lens SE detector (collects high-resolution pure secondary electrons); an on-axis Energy selective Backscattered electron detector (EsB®) (collects energy-filtered backscattered electrons), a Scanning Transmission Electron Detector (STEM); and an Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (EDS) from Oxford Instruments for chemical analysis of elements from lithium to uranium.

Full Suite of Preparation Equipment

There is a full suite of preparation equipment available in the microscopy facility. SFSU researchers should refer refer to the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Consumables specifically designed for the Zeiss SEM are available from several electron microscope accessory vendors, and a list of consumables from one local vendor is provided for convenience.

See the Preparation Equipment


Operation: The facility director operates the FE-SEM for all SFSU researchers. There is no self-use of the FE-SEM now that the microscope is no longer under service contract.

Clive Hayzelden, D.Phil.


Clive Hayzelden, D.Phil.

Clive began using electron microscopes and published his first paper as an undergraduate. He then studied electron microscopy and microanalysis at Oxford University where he worked on in situ studies of phase transformations in steels using two, one-million-volt transmission electron microscopes (at Oxford for low temperature studies, and at Imperial College for high temperature studies).

Clive then joined the faculty of Harvard University to build a modern electron microscopy facility, where he taught microscopy techniques to over 620 students over a ten-year period. Clive's research interests have included ultra-high strength steels at Harvard, and in situ atomic resolution imaging of low temperature silicide-mediated crystallization of amorphous silicon at IBM.

Clive has operated Zeiss FE-SEMs since 1995, with the introduction of the Carl Zeiss DSM 982, the first instrument of its kind. He has provided instruction on more than fifty Zeiss FE-SEMs across the United States and Europe.The Zeiss FE-SEM uses an extremely bright electron source, has aberration corrected optics and is designed for ultra-low voltage imaging with nanometer scale resolution.

Clive Hayzelden, D.Phil.

A selection of electron micrographs from research at SFSU

We invite you to peruse the collection of electron micrographs below.


Tin balls

Electron microscopy of materials

Electron micrographs of a range nanostructured materials

Trochodendron woody plant

The interior structure of woody plants

Electron micrographs of the cross-sections of a selection of woody plants

Normal fly's eye

Research into the genetic causes of blindness

Electron micrographs of healthy compound eyes found in wild-type Drosophila melanogaster