Imaging and Analysis Centre

The Natural History Museum’s versatile Imaging and Analysis Centre contains an extensive range of sophisticated instruments that can be used for a wide variety of research purposes.

It is staffed by specialists experienced in the preparation and analysis of:

  • geological samples including mineral specimens
  • biological samples
  • synthetic materials

Who can use the facilities?

The facilities are available for consultancy work and for use by:

  • Museum staff and research students
  • scientific visitors, including SYNTHESYS researchers
  • Lithium metaborate fusion in a platinum crucible, to prepare silicate materials for analysis
    Chemical analysis

    Find out about the complementary techniques on offer for determining the concentrations of elements and chemical species in a wide range of samples. These include ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma techniques.

  • X-ray elemental map of a titanite grain showing distribution of the element niobium
    Micro-analysis

    The Museum’s micro-analysis instruments present the opportunity to conduct both qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis of samples. Learn about the instruments and their capabilities.

  • Close up of a section of butterfly wing, imaged using the LEO 1455VP scanning electron microscope
    Imaging and tomography

    The centre offers a variety of instrumentation for both 2D and 3D imaging of samples including scanning electron microscopes, a confocal microscope, a transmission electron microscope and state-of-the-art computed tomography scanners. Find out more about the techniques and instruments available.

  • Alex Ball
    Imaging and Analysis Centre team

    Meet the people who work in the Museum's Imaging and Analysis Centre.