Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

A short introduction video about the SEM can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtNhLica1OQ

In the end of 2017 we found an offer online of somebody giving away an old scanning electron microscope (SEM). After some considering it was clear to us that this is an amazing opportunity that we can not let pass by. After some weeks of back and forth and organizing a transport we finally got the SEM to Lausanne and can now say that we own a scanning electron microscope!

The miscroscope is in a very good state and has been used until recently, when a fault in the electronics appeared. This means, that our first goal is to repair the instrument to bring it back to its full working condition. This in itself will already be quite an adventure, as we will need to learn how the seem works inside out. Thankfully the schematics of the device are available to us, which will make the repair much less painful.

Eventually we want to experiment with the miscroscope, take amazing pictures and as with all our tools, make it available to anybody.

So imagine a place, where you can freely make microscopy pictures with an magnification of up to 50'000x!

Goals

  1. Organize a pre-vacuum pump
  2. Repair the microscope to make it functional again
  3. Take amazing pictures
  4. Create a digital acquisition system
  5. Make the microscope available to anybody interested
  6. Try to make all the supporting documents / schematics public

Contributors

  • Beat Geissmann
  • Celine Loussert
  • Johannes Wüthrich

In paper form we have the following information available:

  • Complete schematics
  • User manual
  • User manual of peripherals (for example pumps)

KiCAD schematics: A part of the schematic is being transcribed to a KiCAD schematic, currently on a high level view. The KiCAD schematics can be found in a Github repository.

Scan of the documentation: A scan of the paper documents is available to people working on the project on a Google Drive.

Schematics: More info about the schmatics can be found under SEM Schematics.

Interconnect: A list of cables to interconnect the vacuum tower and the control panel can be found under SEM Interconnect.

Map: Information about where to find what (physically) within the SEM can be found under the SEM Map.

Specifications

Stereoscan 120 from Cambridge Instruments Ltd

Analog scanning electron microscope with Polaroid exposure screen

History

  • Built after 1986 (according to the handbook copyright notice)
  • Originally acquired and used by the Swiss Post (PTT) in their Bern research institute
  • Acquired by the school of applied science in Bern (BFH)
  • Acquired by a private person after withdrawl from service at BFH
  • Acquired by Octanis in early 2018 from this private person

Other Cambridge Instruments Stereoscan 120

SEM Revival Projects

DIY SEM Projects