Electron Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy Core

Overview of Services


The Electron Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy Core is available to investigators wishing to define ultrastructural details within their experimental systems. The EM Core personnel assists, as needed, with all aspects of studies brought to the lab.  In addition to training on the instruments, guidance is provided, as needed, for experimental design and data interpretation. 


Microscopy Services:

Serial block face scanning electron microscopy (SBFSEM)

Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM)

Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) for elemental analysis of SEM and STEM samples 

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in conventional, tomographic and cryo-modes

Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) in secondary electron, backscatter electron and environmental (ESEM) modes

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)

Fast scanning atomic force microscopy (AFM) in various modes including: contact and non-contact atomic force, lateral force, ScanAsyst (peak force tapping), tapping in air and fluid, magnetic force, and electric force modes


Preparative Services:

Preparations for SBFSEM using the Deerinck et al OTO method

Conventional chemical fixation, resin embedding and ultrathin sectioning for conventional and tomographic TEM

Negative staining for TEM

Cryo-specimen preparation for cryo-TEM

High pressure freezing/freeze substitution combined with embedding in Lowicryl

Post-embedding immunogold labeling on ultrathin Lowicryl sections

Pre-embedding immunogold labeling of vibratome sectioning with gold enhancement

Specimen preparation for scanning electron microscopy including fixation, critical point drying and sputter coating

Sample preparation for atomic force microscopy including spin coating and the preparation of selectively charged surfaces


Link to EM Core Website

Electron Microscopy Website




Marcia M. Miller, PhD, Core Director



Zhuo Li, PhD, Core Manager



Location and Hours of Operation


Hours Location

9:00am to 5:00pm

Monday through Friday


Extra hours only by special arrangement.           

Furth F1118     



Furth F1134


Furth F1135 





Marcia M. Miller, PhD, Professor, Core Director (far right)

Zhuo Li, PhD, Assistant Research Professor, Core Manager (far left)

Ricardo Zerda, Staff Scientist (second from left)

Arlynn Gutierrez, Research Laboratory Assistant (second from right)


Name Role Phone Email Location
Marcia M. Miller, PhD
Core Director
626 301-8264
Kaplan-Black 106B
Zhuo Li, PhD
Core Manager
626 301-8265
Furth F1118/F1134/F1135
Ricardo Zerda
Core Staff
626 301-8265
Furth F1118/F1134/F1135