We are delighted to introduce our Cryo FIB-SEM facility, which is available to all researchers across the university. We also welcome external users from other universities and industry. This Zeiss Crossbeam 550 FIB-SEM with cryogenic attachment from Quorum Technologies is one of only a few such instruments in the UK and offers a multitude of powerful techniques to extract as much information as possible from a large range of samples. The microscope offers resolution down to ~1nm, elemental contrast and identification, fast and accurate milling and patterning using the focussed ion beam (FIB), nanoscale tomography, TEM sample preparation and the ability to work on liquids, gels, polymers, biological matter and many other materials using the optional cryo mode.

Cryo FIB-SEM at UoEThe microscope has the following:

  • Resolution of 0.9nm at 15kV and 1.6nm at 1kV using the FEG electron column
  • FIB imaging and milling with 3nm resolution at 30kV
  • Automated serial slice and imaging for destructive nanotomography
  • Automated stitching of images to give high field of few, high resolution images
  • Oxford Instruments X-Max 150 EDS detector
  • Oxford Instruments Omniprobe 200 micromanipulator
  • Gas insertion system for deposition of platinum or carbon, or for gas assisted etching
  • In-lens, SESI, ESB and Backscatter detectors
  • Quorum Technologies  PP3010T Cryo-SEM preparation system
  • STEM detector
  • Charge compensator
  • Flood gun
  • Plasma cleaner
The university logo milled into a piece of silicon.

Members of the university will be charged a base rate of £75/hr. Additional fees apply for training or external use. For further information on capabilities, feasibilities, fees, training, access and more please contact Fraser Laidlaw (fraser.laidlaw [at] 

Also available in the lab:

  • Leica AFS2 freeze substitution
  • Dedicated data PC with Avizo software

Example images are available in the gallery at the bottom of the page.

Recent publications using the Cryo FIB-SEM

  • Triccas, A., Laidlaw, F., Singleton, M. R., & Nudelman, F. (2024). Control of crystal growth during coccolith formation by the coccolithophore Gephyrocapsa oceanica. Journal of Structural Biology, 216(1), 108066.
  • Si, Y., Laidlaw, F., Li, T. & Clegg, P., Using cryo-SEM and EDS to investigate the stabilisation of oil-water interfaces in mixed aqueous-and-oil foams. Soft Matter, (2024), DOI: 10.1039/D3SM01699D
  • Graziani, G., Ghezzi, D., Nudelman, F., Sassoni, E., Laidlaw, F., Cappelletti, M., Boi, M., Borciani, G., Milita, S., Bianchi, M., Baldini, N., & Falini, G. (2024). A natural biogenic fluorapatite as a new biomaterial for orthopedics and dentistry: antibacterial activity of lingula seashell and its use for nanostructured biomimetic coatings. Journal of Materials Chemistry B.
  • Bößl, F., Menzel, V. C., Chatzisymeon, E., Comyn, T. P., Cowin, P., Cobley, A. J., & Tudela, I. (2023). Effect of frequency and power on the piezocatalytic and sonochemical degradation of dyes in water. Chemical Engineering Journal Advances14, Article 100477. Advance online publication.

  • Bößl, F., Menzel, V. C., Jeronimo, K., Arora, A., Zhang, Y., Comyn, T. P., Cowin, P., Kirk, C., Robertson, N., & Tudela, I. (2023). Importance of energy band theory and screening charge effect in piezo-electrocatalytical processes. Electrochimica Acta462, Article 142730. Advance online publication.

  • Davidkova, D., Graham, M., Romero-Vargas Castrillon, S., & Semião, A. J. C. (2023). Influence of colloidal iron oxide and natural organic matter fouling on nanofiltration membrane performance: role of feed composition and membrane properties. Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology. Advance online publication.