Imaging and tomography

The Natural History Museum’s imaging centre offers a variety of confocal, transmission electron and scanning electron microscopes, as well as state-of-the-art computed tomography scanners.

  • Still image taken from a micro-CT scan of a goldcrest's skull
    Computed tomography

    Learn the basic principles of computed tomography, a non-destructive technique that makes it possible to visualise specimens in 3D and to dissect or slice computerised reconstructions to view internal structure. Find out about micro- and nano-CT and how you could book scanning time at the Museum.

  • Nikon Eclipse upright microscope with A1-Si Confocal Microscope
    Confocal microscopy

    Read about the Museum’s  Nikon Eclipse upright microscope with A1-Si Confocal Microscope.

  • Secondary electron image of volcanic ash from a volcanic plume
    High resolution scanning electron microscopy

    Get information about the two scanning electron microscopes capable of high resolution imaging, and view examples.

  • Close up of a section of butterfly wing, imaged using the LEO 1455VP scanning electron microscope
    Variable pressure scanning electron microscopy

    Learn which three scanning electron microscopes can work at variable pressure, discover their key features and see examples.

  • Elemental map of a polished section through a meteorite produced using the Zeiss EVO 15LS
    Scanning electron microscopy with X-ray analysis

    The LEO 1455 VP, Zeiss EVO 15LS and Carl Zeiss Ultra Plus Field Emission SEMs are all capable of X-ray analysis. Find out more.

  • Transmission electron microscope image of a section through part of the gill of a bivalve mollusc
    Transmission electron microscopy

    The Museum’s Hitachi H-7100 transmission electron microscope is specially designed to prevent beam damage to delicate and sensitive specimens. Discover more about the instrument and technique.

  • Agapanthus
    Tomography for Scientific Advancement symposium

    How is high-resolution computed-tomography providing unique insights and expanding our scientific understanding? Find out more about this year's ToScA symposium.