Electron Microscopy

Image resolution in light microscopy is limited by the wavelength of light and is incapable of resolving structures of less than 200 nm. However, the resolution of electron microscopy limited by biological sample preparation goes beyond 1 nm.

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) is used to investigate ultrastructure of thin samples (limited by the penetration of electron beam): flat cells, nano-particles, biological tissues embedded into polymers etc.

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is used to investigate fine structure on surfaces of biological and non-biological objects.   


Research topics include detection of viruses for human patients, inflammation, oncology, cardiovascular biology, morphology of zebrafish  retina, bacteriology, food sciences, polymer films for biosensors, nano-particle toxicity in vitro and artificial joints.


  • Two transmission electron microscopes (TEM)
  • One scanning electron micropscope (SEM)
  • Two ultramicrotomes, including one suitable for cryo-ultramicrotomy
  • Fume hood, oven for EPON embedding and other TEM sample preparation instruments
  • Critical point dryer, gold/carbon coater and other EM sample preparation instruments
  • Light microscopes for EM sample preparation

Expertise & Services:

In addition to providing a comprehensive electron microscopy facility for the use of all staff in UCD, our services are available to those in academia and industry outside UCD and include:

  • Experimental strategy, technology choice and planning
  • Sample preparation: TEM and SEM
  • Image acquisition: TEM and SEM
  • Image analysis, including EM tomography
  • Training in sample preparation, imaging and image analysis (tailored)


The Imaging Core is using Bookkit, an application by ClusterMarket for booking access to equipment in the facility. Please read the UCD Imaging ClusterMarket Bookkit user guide and contact the technical staff for more information.


  • Dr Dimitri Scholz, Director, Imaging Core
  • T: (+353-1) 716 6736
  • M: +353-87-7961547
  • E: dimitri.scholz@ucd.ie

Check out the next imaging technique: Light Microscopy