Electron Microscopy

Our work in this field covers both Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy.

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

SEM is a powerful imaging technique that allows the characterisation of surfaces, biointerfaces, and nanomaterials with high spatial resolution at the nanoscale. The OIH offers expertise to investigate the interactions between bacteria and surfaces using SEM. This technique can be use on a wide variety of samples, including:

  • Metals surfaces
  • Organic polymers
  • Ceramics
  • Glass and silicon based materials.

SEM provides direct evidence of the morphology of the surfaces, and can be combined with Energy Dispersive X-rays spectroscopy (EDX) to obtain the chemical composition and elemental mapping of the surfaces.

The versatility of SEM makes it suitable for:

  • Metrology of surface processes
  • High resolution imaging of surface topography
  • Cross-sectioning analysis of layered materials
  • Investigation of bacteria colonisation at surfaces
  • Evaluation of mechanism of action of antimicrobial surfaces.

Transmission Electron Microscopy

Transmission Electron Microscopy is a complementary imaging technique, it provides better spatial resolution (few nanometres or below) and can be applied to biological samples and nanomaterials.

Combining this technique with microtome sectioning, it is possible to analyse very thin slices (tens of nanometres wide), giving insights on the internal structure of bacterial cells and bulk materials, as well as the size distribution and the particle shape of nanomaterials.

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