Transmission Electron Microscopy

Location: EP 112
Primary Contact: Dr. Phil Ahrenkiel

 The JEOL JEM-2100 LaB6 transmission electron microscope (TEM) is equipped with the high-resolution (HR) style objective-lens pole piece to achieve point resolution as small as 0.23 nm ― small enough to observe lattice structure in many crystalline materials. The instrument operates at a high tension of up to 200 kV, corresponding to an electron wavelength of 2.5 pm. Image acquisition is performed with a Gatan Orius bottom-mount, 14-bit, 11-megapixel CCD camera. An Oxford Inca energy-dispersive silicon-drift X-ray (EDX) spectrometer is provided for compositional analysis and mapping at high count rates. The instrument has scanning-TEM (STEM) capability, with both bright-field and dark-field imaging modes, as well as both secondary-electron and back-scattered electron imaging modes. Scan control is achieved through a Gatan DigiScan II image acquisition system. A hollow-cone illumination feature is available for conical dark-field imaging.

A standard JEOL double-tilt specimen holder and a second JEOL low-background double-tilt holder are provided for crystallographic and EDX analysis. A high-tilt specimen retainer is also available for electron tomography. A Gatan Model 628 single-tilt heating holder allows thermal treatments to temperatures over 1000 °C with in-situ observation.

The instrument is used by several departments on the SDSM&T campus, including Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, Chemistry, Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Materials and Metallurgical Engineering for a range of projects involving topics such as energy generation and storage, functional composite materials for space applications, and friction-stir-processed metals.. A suite of equipment is provided for standard TEM sample-preparation methods, including specimen grinding/polishing/dimpling, electrochemical thinning, ion milling, and ultramicrotomy. Access is available with appropriate training for off-campus users to meet academic and industrial needs. For training materials, scheduling, and other policies, visit

Dr. Phil Ahrenkiel, Assistant Professor 
Nanoscience and Nanoengineering Ph.D. Program
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
501 E. Saint Joseph St.
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701
Office: EP 221
Phone: (605) 394-5238, Fax: (605) 394-2365