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) that provides SFSU faculty, students, local universities, and industrial partners with the ability to perform cutting-edge research on naturally-occurring and fabricated nano-structures across a broad range of disciplines. Researchers are warmly encouraged to contact the facility director for further information regarding access to the facility, 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. New users should refer to the description of how to get started using the electron microscopy facility, and the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). For SF State, outside academic, and non-academic users, there is a section on the charge rates for training and use of the facility. 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

Location, Hours, New Users

Location Located in Room 138 of Hensill Hall, the Electron Microscopy Facility (EMF) includes a fully equipped specimen preparation laboratory for both hard and soft (biological) materials. Hensill Hall is located on the North-East corner of campus on 19th Avenue between Buckingham Way and Holloway Avenue.  From the street level (3rd floor), take the elevator or stairs to the first floor.  The EMF shares a suite of laboratories with the Cell and Molecular Imaging Center (CMIC) and the Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) Facility, all of which are accessed through HH 138 (basement level). 

EMF Hours (Due to Covid-19, modified operations are in place)
Core-hours for instrument usage are Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment.

There is a one-hour minimum charge. Cancellations must be received with 24 hours advance notice or the reservation will be charged in full.

New Users (Due to Covid-19, modified operations are in place) New users may request training on the Carl Zeiss Ultra 55 FE-SEM by contacting the facility director ( Retraining is required if an operator has not used the Carl Zeiss Ultra 55 FE-SEM during the preceding six months. Service work on the Carl Zeiss Ultra 55 FE-SEM takes priority at all times.

Rates  Due to Covid-19, modified operations are in place

To use the EMF please contact:
Clive Hayzelden, D.Phil.

Clive Hayzelden, D.Phil.

Dr. Hayzelden began using electron microscopes as an undergraduate. He then studied electron microscopy and microanalysis at Oxford University where he worked on in situ studies of phase transformations using one-million-volt transmission electron microscopes. Dr. Hayzelden 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. Dr. Hayzelden has operated Zeiss FE-SEMs since 1995, with the introduction of the Carl Zeiss DSM 982, the first instrument of its kind. 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. Dr. Hayzelden has directed five electron microscopy centers and has taught microscopy on more than fifty Zeiss FE-SEMs across the united states.

To use the EMF please contact:
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