New Scanning Electron Microscope poise to serve the region

In early 2012, Lakehead University’s acquired a new SEM. The Hitachi SU70 Analytical FE-SEM with Oxford Aztec SDD XMax Premium EDX detector (124 ev) and Gatan MiniCL Imaging system is now operational and booked almost full-time by students and researchers.
 
 
 
The SEM is seen as a major boon for the university in addition to training students on this very sophisticated instrument, industries within the region will have access to the FE-SEM. According to LUCAS Director Al MacKenzie, “This machine will help us provide support for regional economic development testing and the microscope has already been used for mineralogical applications for the Ring of Fire area.”
 
With minimal training on the university’s old system a user could see things at about 20,000 times magnification. On the new FE-SEM with the same minimal training, that same person could see things at 120,000 times magnification. That’s an increase of 6-fold, right out of the box. And with advanced training, we can potentially get magnifications as high as 600,000 times.
The microscope will be used over the next decade for research that encompasses diverse areas in Geology, Chemistry and nanotechnology.
 
The research is innovative and is likely to lead to new materials for sensor applications, improved mining processes, adding value to forest products, a better understanding of iron deposits and the remediation of mine waste.  Students enrolled in new PhD programs at Lakehead University including Materials Science and Biotechnology will appreciate access to the latest in research discovery tools offered at LUCAS.  
 
Funding for this instrument was made possible through a grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, awarded to Dr. Aicheng Chen (Chemistry) and Dr. Phil Fralick (Geology).

LUCAS Lakehead University