Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

Transmission electron microscopy at the NMRC

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)  

The versatile JEOL 2100+ TEM at the nmRC for nanostructural characterisation

Transmission Electron Microscopy Imaging and Analysis

TEM is an electron microscopy technique that is used to achieve spatial resolutions down to the scale of several Angstroms (~ 0.19nm). Very thin samples can be interrogated via the interaction of an electron beam as it passes through the specimen.

By monitoring what has happened to the beam of electrons in transit it is possible to both image the fine structure (by contrast) of the sample as well as describe physical and chemical characteristics.

The nmRC is home to 4 TEM instruments that offer the capacity to perform a complementary range of cutting edge analytical procedures. This ranges from bright field imaging on the nanoscale to elemental mapping, crystalline structure assessment, tomographic imaging, cryogenic imaging and beyond.

Key Features

  • Bright field imaging
  • Dark field imaging
  • Electron diffraction
  • Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS/EDX)
  • Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS)
  • Scanning Transmission Electron Spectroscopy (STEM)
  • Nanotomography (3D profiling)
  • Cryogenic TEM


nmRC TEM Instrumentation 



  • Field emission electron gun (FEG), providing a high brightness and high stability electron source for use at 100kV and 200kV
  • A point resolution of 0.19nm allows the ultrahigh resolution analysis of materials, on the nanometer scale
  • Bright Field STEM Detector
  • High Angle Annular Dark Field (HAADF) STEM Detector
  • Gatan Orius (4k x 2.6k) Camera with digital streaming video for high resolution and TV rate imaging
  • Gatan Tridiem Filter Spectrometer and 2K x 2K CCD camera, configured for use at 100kV and 200kV. Enables elemental mapping via Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) and Energy Filtered TEM (EFTEM)
  • Oxford Instruments 80mm X-Max system for energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis
  • Room Temperature Tomograpghy: Gatan 916 Room temp tomography holder with up to 80 degrees tilt. Allows tilt series acquisition to generate 3D images
  • Cryo-tomography and cryo transfer: Gatan 914 Cryo-tomography holder system including cold controller/ cryo-workstation. Liquid nitrogen cooled holder, allows the investigation of heat sensitive and cryogenically frozen samples
  • Electrical holder. Gatan 936 DT analytical LN2 holder with temperature controller with EBIC stage option (4 electrical connections) plus Smart EBIC. Allows the electrical properties of samples to be related to the microstructure - e.g. defects in semiconductors
  • Heating holder. Gatan 652 Double tilt heating holder. Allows samples to be heated up to 1000 degrees in the TEM column.


JEOL 2100+ TEM

  • LaB6 TEM for high throughput, high versatility analysis at 80kV or 160kV
  • Bright field STEM detector
  • Oxford Instruments X-MaxN 80 TLE EDS detector for chemical analysis
  • Gatan Enfinium EELS detector
  • HADDF detector
  • Range of specialised sample rods including heating and cryogenic stages for variable temperature work and an analytical stage for tomographic and high contrast chemical analysis
  • MEMS Heating holder. DENSsolutions Wildfire S3 capable of analyses up to 1300oC with millisecond heat and quench speed, and nanoscale sample drift with step changes of hundreds of degrees. Enables EELS and EDS mapping at elevated temperatures.


FEI Tecnai G2 12 Biotwin

  • 120 kV LaB6 TEM for high contrast imaging
  • Gatan SIS Megaview IV digital camera
  • Tomography compustage for tomographic characterisation
  • Cryo-stage for low temperature observation of temperature dependent or hydrated samples
  • Ideal for low-contrast, beam-sensitive biological specimens, or other soft materials such as polymers.



  • 200 kV analytical TEM
  • LaB6 or tungsten filament electron gun
  • Low background double-tilt sample holder and single-tilt sample holder for 2 samples
  • Orius digital camera for high resolution imaging
  • Oxford Instruments XMax 80 INCA EDS system
  • Photographic plate camera and RHEED stage for surface diffraction measurements.







Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre

Cripps South building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 748 6340
email: nmrcenquiries@nottingham.ac.uk