Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

The Department of Earth Sciences operates a JEOL 6610LV Scanning Electron Microscope. These instruments are available for use by members of this and other universities, as well as for commercial applications.

Browse the table below for information about the departmental SEM, booking and fees, and publications. Sample photos are found in the gallery.

For more information, contact the SEM technician:

Dr. Yanan Liu
Senior Instrument Specialist
Phone: 416-978-5420
Email Dr. Liu

The departmental SEM is a JEOL machine, model 6610LV. The 6610LV has the usual SEI Scintillator detector and BSEI diode detectors. Spatial resolution of the 6610LV using SE imaging can be as small as 50 nanometers or less, or a magnification of 60,000X or more. Yet the 6610LV has a large chamber and can accommodate specimens as large as 10X10X6 cm3. The 6610LV can also be operated under low vacuum conditions which allows users to characterize uncoated samples. For high vacuum operation, the department has the facilities to either carbon coat or gold coat the samples. Facilities for sample preparation for SEM analysis such as polished mounts or polished sections are also available.  

X-ray analysis, using an EDS (Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy) system, is also attached to the 6610LV Microscope. This EDS system is made by Oxford Instruments and uses their INCA data acquisition software application. The detector is an SDD (Silicon Drift Detector), capable of high count rates and good energy resolution.

In addition to the EDS system, the 6610LV Microscope has a Monochromatic Cathodoluminescence Imaging system by Gatan attached to it, commonly referred to as a MiniCL. This MiniCL system is sensitive to luminescence from most geological specimens, and the detector is positioned close to the specimen boosting detection efficiency.

JEOL 6610LV Scanning Electron Microscope


Location: Room 3097 in the Earth Sciences Centre

Contact Lab personnel to reserve time on the SEM.

Fill the PDF iconJob Request Form to proceed: contact the technician for questions. Note: This form must be filled out completely and signed when submitting your work request.

View the Booking Calendar

Current Fee Structure

User/Grant type Peak hours (9 am - 5 pm weekdays) Off-peak hours (5 pm - 9 am weekdays, weekends and holidays)
Department members (NSERC) $24 / hour $16 / hour
Department members (other grants) and U of T users $34 / hour $20 / hour
Other university users $40 / hour $30 / hour
Contract users $80 / hour $56 / hour


The above rates do not include applicable taxes nor an operator. Basic operator training (a few hours only are necessary) is available at no cost. Specific needs requiring us to supply an operator will be considered, and an additional charge is made for operator assistance.

Cancellations made 24 hours or less before an appointment will be subject to a two hours flat rate charge.

You will need Adobe’s Acrobat Reader® to open the job request form. You may download it, at no charge, from Adobe Systems.