Advanced Microscopy and Materials Characterization Facility - GLIER

University of Windsor, Winsdsor, Ontario
What the facility does

Multi-user facility with state-of-the-art equipment to meet a variety of microscopy and analytical needs, such as biological science, geology/mineralogy, materials science, automotive engineering, environmental science and chemistry.

Areas of expertise

High-resolution imaging and chemical analysis of biological, geological and structural materials. The Centre is a University of Windsor Central Facility laboratory located at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER). Other Central Facility labs at GLIER include the Environmental Genomics Facility, the Element and Heavy Isotope Analytical Laboratories and the Organic Analytical and Nutrient Laboratory.

Research services
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Energy dispersive spectroscopy-EDS (X-Ray analysis)
  • Cathodoluminescence on SEM
  • Carbon coating
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Atomic force microscopy (AFM)
  • Scanning near field optical microscopy (SNOM)
  • True SurfaceTM profilometry
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Light microscopy
  • Sample preparation advice and assistance, training on all equipment
Sectors of application
  • Automotive
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Mining, minerals and metals

Specialized lab



Scanning Electron Microscope Lab


FEI Quanta 200 FEG Environmental SEM


  • Field Emission Gun-Scanning Electron Microscope (FEG-SEM) with high vacuum, low vacuum and environmental mode. Field Emission Filament. Backscatter, secondary and combined images viewed simultaneously. 
  • Variable Pressure SEM with low vacuum and Environmental SEM capabilities. Equipped with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) capabilities.
  • Resolution to 5 nm.
  • Scandium measuring software.


Everhart-Thornley Secondary Electron (SE) detector

For High Vacuum Imaging


Large field Secondary Electron (SE) detector

For Low Vacuum Imaging


Gaseous Secondary Electron (SE) detector

For Environmental Mode Imaging


Back Scatter Electron Detector (BSE)

For Compositional Differences Imaging


Cathodoluminescence Detector

For Trace Element Imaging


EDAX Octane Plus SDD X-Ray Detector (EDS)


  • High Resolution Silicon Drift X-Ray Detector with excellent light element detection for elemental analysis of all elements but H, He and Li.
  • EDS mapping, point analysis or linescan.
  • Large, multi-field mapping capabilities.
  • Fast processing for quick mapping.


Leica ACE 600 Carbon Coater


  • Provides conductive carbon coating to non-conductive samples for viewing in high vacuum in the SEM.
  • Uses carbon thread.

Raman Spectrometer/Atomic Force Microscope Lab

WITec Raman Spectrometer

  • Raman spectrometer measures vibrational energy of chemical bonds to determine chemical identity of molecules or compounds.
  • Confocal Raman imaging (maps), point analysis, line scans and 3D depth scan capabilities.
  • 532 nm and 785 nm lasers for Raman.


Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)

Provides nanometer scale imaging of surface topography and surface information.


True Surface Profilometer

Provides surface topography to guide focus during Raman imaging on rough or sloped surfaces.


SNOM equipment

Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscopy (SNOM) provides nanometer-scale optical imaging.


Wiley KnowItAll databases and search-match software

Search-match software and databases to identify Raman spectra generated.

Fluorescence Microscope/Light Microscope

Leica DM LA epifluorescence/light microscope


Light and epifluorescence microscope with camera using:

  • Improvision software
  • Brightfield (BF) optical microscope, phase contrast, 5x, 10x, 20x, 40x, 3x(oil) lenses
  • Epifluorescence filters: A4 (UV-λ360), GFP (blue-λ470) N2.1 (green-λ515-560)
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Canadian Museum of Nature
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Guelph
  • Western University
  • Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Nemak
  • Continental Automotive
  • Whitfield Welding
  • Martinrea Caledon Tubing
  • PROTO Manufacturing
  • Lincoln Laser Solutions
  • Institute for Diagnostic Imaging Research
  • Rassini Inc.
  • CenterLine Ltd.



Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER)

Environmental Genomics Facility

Element and Heavy Isotope Analytical Laboratories

Organic Analytical and Nutrient Laboratory

Microscope technician looks into prehistoric discovery