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CNF Lab and Equipment Information
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Zeiss Ultra SEM

Ultra High Resolution Field Emission SEM

Zeiss Ultra SEM Backup: John Treichler , Amrita Banerjee
Equipment Training
This training covers operation of the Zeiss Ultra SEM and the Zeiss Supra SEM. Please sign up online at least one day in advance on the CNF users face to face training page .

Please do not come to the training unless you have a sample ready to image. You will be required to use the SEM within one week of training or your access may be removed.


Scanning electron microscopy is critical for the analysis of nanoscale materials and structures. CNF operates two field emission scanning electron microscopes (SEMs): a Zeiss Supra 55 microscope capable of variable pressure (VP) operation and a Zeiss Ultra 55 microscope optimized for high resolution imaging. Like most modern SEMs, both systems are capable of operating at beam energies from 100 V to 30 kV. However, the unique electron optical design employed in the Zeiss systems enables unsurpassed performance at beam energies from 100 V to 8 kV. This is crucial for obtaining high resolution distortion free images of surface.

The Ultra 55 is designed to maximize imaging resolution at low beam energies. It is equipped with a backscatter electron detector engineered to image electrons with energies less than 2 keV. An energy filter incorporated into the detector enables energy selective backscatter (ESB) imaging. This signal can be used to obtain contrast between regions of different composition.


  • In Lens Energy Selective Backscatter (ESB) Detector
  • Backscatter imaging using 100 eV to 3 keV beam energies
  • In situ electrical characterization of samples using the installed Zyvex system

Additional Resources:

Equipment Information Sheet
CNF SEM basics
JEOL guide to SEM
CNF SEM video training reference
Location of tool in cleanroom (jpg)

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