UCL School of Pharmacy


Electron Microscopy

Find out more about the Electron Microscopy Unit.

History of the Electron Microscopy Unit


The unit was set up in 1977 by David McCarthy with the purchase of a Transmission Electron Microscope (Philips 201) and the necessary ancillary equipment. The Electron Microscopy Unit was later managed by Kate Keen, and currently by Andrew Weston.


Silver nanoparticle

Image: Silver nanoparticles under a microscope.

The unit’s services have become essential to many of the School’s research programmes. In 1984, a Scanning Electron Microscope was purchased (Jeol JSM35).

This Microscope was replaced in 1991 with a state of the art Philips XL 20, augmented with Cryo facilities and in 2003, this microscope was replaced with a higher spec XL 30 Microscope. In 2009, CIF funding (50%) and FEI sponsorship (50%) allowed the purchase of a FEI Quanta 200 FEG ESEM. This Microscope has three modes of operation: High vacuum, high resolution, Low vacuum, high resolution (uncoated sample imaging) and Environmental, for imaging of partially dried samples.

A second Transmission Electron Microscope (Philips CM 120 Bio-Twin) was purchased in 1998 with funding from the EPSRC.

In 2018 capital investment funding allowed for the purchase of a Phenom Pro benchtop SEM. The unit also has a Nikon FXA optical microscope, a multi-user facility which is equipped with fluorescence facilities and digital image capture system.


Andrew Weston

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