Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy (CCEM)

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
What the facility does

Materials characterization and consultation to determine structural and compositional information on the micron to nano/atomic-scale using electron and ion microscopy

Areas of expertise

The Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy (CCEM) is a one-stop solution to materials characterization problems. Our experienced and dedicated staff are here to help determine structural and compositional information of material through their advanced knowledge in electron microscopy. Not only does the CCEM offer a suite of electron microscopes and sample preparation space that can be used for characterization needs, but our staff members are fully equipped and available to train users, acquire various data, prepare characterization reports, and consult on user’s specific questions.

As a user’s facility we offer training services on our instruments, or if preferred, we can perform full sample characterization starting from sample preparation to final results. To facilitate our user’s learning experience and networking, we also host various tutorials and workshops throughout the year. Our vision is to be one of the leading electron microscopy facilities in the world for the quality of the scientific research and for promoting interactions amongst researchers in various fields nationally and internationally.

Research services

Material analytical services including: data acquisition and processing/interpretation, sample preparation, user material/instrument consultation, user training/education.

Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Automotive
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Defence and security industries
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Mining, minerals and metals



FEI Magellan 400 Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Extreme high-resolution Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with sub-nanometer resolution, operates at 1 to 30 keV.

  • Oxford Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) system

JEOL JSM-7000F Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Equipped with a Schottky field emission gun offers high resolution and large probe currents at small probe diameters permitting characterization of nano-scale structures

  • A multipurpose specimen chamber, motorized specimen stage, single-action specimen exchange and an ideal geometry for techniques such as Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), Electron Backscattered Diffraction (EBSD) and electron-beam lithography
  • Resolution of 1.2 nm at 30 keV and 3.0 nm at 1 keV
  • Integrated Oxford Instruments X-Maxn 50 mm2 Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) detector and Nordlys II Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) Camera with AZtec EDS/EBSD software plus HKL Channel EBSD post-processing software for the simultaneous acquisition of elemental (Boron and higher Z-number elements) and crystal orientation data

JEOL 6610LV Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Tungsten filament equipped Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with selectable low vacuum mode that allows for the analysis of non-conductive specimens without the need for heavy-metal coating

  • Large chamber which enables observation of specimens up to 200 mm in diameter
  • Resolution of 3.0 nm at 30 keV makes it possible to view secondary electron and backscattered composition images simultaneously

FEI Titan 80-300 HB Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM)

Double aberration-corrected Transmission Electron Microscope/Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM/STEM) that can operate at multiple accelerating voltages to allow imaging of a variety of materials, including beam-sensitive samples

  • X-Field Emission Gun (X-FEG) source
  • 80 keV, 200 keV, 300 keV
  • Monochromator
  • Corrected Electron Optical Systems GmbH (CEOS) hexapole aberration correctors on image- and probe-forming lenses
  • Super-Twin objective lens
  • Gatan Imaging Filter (GIF) Quantum (<0.1 eV resolution)
  • Gatan Quantum K2 direct electron detector
  • Single- and double-tilt holders, tomography holder, cryo-holder, heating holder

FEI Titan 80-300 LB Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM)

Image-corrected High-resolution Transmission Electron Microscope/Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (HRTEM/STEM) that operates at 80 keV, 200 keV and 300 keV

  • X-Field Emission Gun (X-FEG) source
  • Monochromator
  • Large-gap Cryo-Twin objective lens
  • Corrected Electron Optical Systems GmbH (CEOS) hexapole aberration corrector on the image-forming lens
  • Gatan Tridiem Spectrometer (<0.1 eV resolution)
  • Oxford Energy-dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) detector
  • Single- and double-tilt holders, tomography holder, cryo-holder, heating holder, liquid cell holder

Philips CM12 Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM)

General purpose analytical Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), with a lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) filament operating at 120 keV and a magnification range from 30 to 660,000 X

Jeol 2010F Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM)

Transmission Electron Microscope/Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM/STEM) with capabilities ranging from nano-beam and convergent beam diffraction to high-resolution phase contrast and energy-filtered imaging

  • Oxford Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) detector
  • Gatan Tridiem Spectrometer
  • Single- and double-tilt holders, in-situ liquid electrochemistry holder

Zeiss NVision 40 Focused Ion Beam (FIB)

Dual-beam gallium ions (Ga+) instrument combining a Schottky field emission Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with a focused beam of gallium ions (Ga+)

  • 3D Focused Ion Beam (FIB) tomography
  • Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) with a silicon drift detector
  • Leica EM Versatile Cryo Transfer System (VCT100) shuttle and cold stage add-on

Thermo Scientific Helios G4 UXe DualBeam Plasma-Focused Ion Beam (FIB)

An inductively coupled xenon ion (Xe+) plasma (ICP) source with an ion current that can reach as high as 2.5 µA

  • Field-Emission Gun (FEG) electron column enhanced by an UniColore (UC+, second generation chromatic aberration corrector)
  • 3D Focused Ion Beam (FIB) tomography of large volumes

Cameca LEAP 4000X HR Atom Probe Tomography (APT)

3D analysis of materials at the sub-nanometer scale

  • Ultraviolet laser (355 nm wavelength)
  • Analyses include dopants in semiconductors, alloying elements, concentration profiles with atomic sensitivity and clustering

JEOL JAMP-9500F Field Emission Auger (FE-Auger)

The field emission Auger microprobe is a high-sensitivity instrument for surface analysis

  • Minimum probe diameter of 8 nm, and high energy resolution
  • Hemispherical electrostatic energy analyser with a large acceptance angle and a multi-channel detector, elements can be detected with concentrations as low as 0.2 atomic %
  • Incorporated Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Energy-dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS)
  • In-situ ion gun, allowing depth profiling to a depth of a few hundred nanometers