Welcome to the Laboratory of Electron Microscopy

The Laboratory of Electron Microscopy (LEM) is part of the CRB (Chemical Resource Beneficiation) in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. The LEM is housed on the ground floor, Block A of the Natural Sciences Complex. The facility consists of two electron microscopes, a transmission (TEM) and an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM), a fluorescence microscope as well as various light microscopes and peripherals used in the preparation of materials and the acquisition of results of projects and research.

Key objectives of the LEM

The LEM provides advice and training to students and staff of the University regarding the preparation of materials, the handling of the apparatus and the interpretation of results. A service is also being provided for institutions outside the university for which tariffs are charged.

LEM’s users include students and staff from schools from the faculties of Science, Engineering and Pharmacy. Undergraduate students in small groups undergo exposure sessions to make them aware of the application possibilities of electron and normal microscopy in their field of study. As it is a specialist service, the second and third year projects reduce the groups to two to four students. In the case of fourth-year, honors, masters and doctoral students, training and assistance are done on a 1: 1 basis. If the project is of such a magnitude that the student will be able to use the facilities for a long period of time, more intensive training is provided so that the student can use the facilities independently at any time, also after hours by discussing sessions on the timetable.

In order to ensure the high quality of service, the head of LEM is constantly involved in technology development and research projects with colleagues and other researchers, locally in South Africa as well as abroad.