Philips XL30 Field Emission SEM

Instrument specifications


  • Secondary electron detector
  • Solid state backscatter detector (2 segment)
  • Gatan X-ray Ultra Microscope (XuM) nano-CT system

Magnifications: 20x - 200,000x

Resolution: 2nm

Image Output: 8-bit TIFF, up to 3872 x 3082 pixels

Key instrument features

  • Computer controlled
  • Fully motorised stage (except tilt) allowing systematic searching of stubs, with the ability to record and return to features of interest
  • Can rapidly produce stereo pairs and perform on-screen measurements
  • Gatan XuM nano-CT system allows the 2D and 3D-visualisation of the internal structure of specimens in the SEM at submicron resolution

Get information on the Museum's Gatan XuM nano-CT system

Sample preparation

Strict control is maintained over specimen preparation and handling methods since 'dirty' specimens will contaminate the column and degrade the performance of the microscope.

  • Specimens and stubs should only be handled with forceps.
  • Only coated specimens which have been permanently mounted onto stubs or pins using slow-drying araldite or silver dag can be examined.

Contact details

For further information or to arrange to use the microscopes contact:

Dr Alex Ball
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5263
Fax: +44 (0)20 7942 5811

Email Alex Ball

Scanning electron microscope image of a coccolithophore, Acanthoica quattrospina
Examples of Philips XL30 Field Emission SEM applications

View some examples of images obtained using the XL30 scanning electron microscope. The instrument's high resolution makes it exceptionally suitable for imaging minute organisms.

Our scanning electron microscopes