Laboratories for microscopy

Within the field of microscopy, there are several laboratories linked to the Faculty of Science and Technology at UiS. An overview of equipment and facilities follows.

Published Updated on

Scanning electron microscope (SEM)

The scanning electron microscope is part of the material characterisation activities at the faculty. Samples can be imaged down to micro and nanometre levels. This is possible because electron microscopes use electrons to illuminate the sample/create a magnified image of what is being analysed, unlike ordinary optical microscopes that use light.

Bombarding a sample with electrons produces various signals that provide information about the surface, microstructure, and chemical composition. Users can take images using secondary electrons (SE), backscattered electrons (BSE) and cathodoluminescence (CL), as well chemical analysis using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and crystal orientation mapping by electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD). Numerous disciplines use SEM and the equipment is available for use by students, staff, and external stakeholders by agreement.

  • Zeiss Supra VP35 equipped with EDAX EDS system and NORDIF EBSD system
  • Jeol JSM-IT800, equipped with EDS detectors from Oxford and NORDIF EBSD system. The instrument is also set up for automated mineralogy
  • Leica ACE600 coater
  • Detectors for SE, BSE, CL, EDS, MLA and EBSD 
  • Coating with gold, palladium copper, nickel or carbon ahead of analyses

Contact person: Espen Undheim

Transmission electron microscopy  (TEM) 

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a microscopy technique in which a beam of electrons is transmitted through a sample to form an image or diffraction pattern to characterize various microstructural and crystallographic properties of materials.

Primarily, TEM is used to analyse morphology, composition, crystal defects and phases of materials. Because of the small wavelength effect of the electrons, TEM provides a resolution down to an atomic level. In principle, all kinds of substances can be studied by TEM. For analysis with conventional TEM, the samples must be electron transparent and conductive. The TEM is used by students and staff as well as external research institutions and industry.

  • JEOL JEM-2100
  • Gun: LaB6 Filament
  • Operating Voltage (HT): 80 - 200 kV
  • Camera: CMOS XAROSA, RADIUS software
  • Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy: EDAX (Silicon Drift Detector)
  • STEM detectors: Bright field and darkfield detectors
  • The sample (part of a sample) to be analysed with TEM must be about 100 nm thick or less. If the samples to be analysed are in nano-structured form, they should be suspended/placed on a grid (Cu, Au, …), or on a Lacey Carbon film or a Holey Carbon film on a grid. The samples should generally be dry and non-magnetic.TEM, STEM, CBD, NBD 

Contact person: Wakshum Mekonnen 

Light microscopy

The Faculty of Science and Technology has many different types of microscopes, which are used in laboratories across multiple disciplines. These microscopes include stereo microscopes, inverted microscopes and polarisation microscopes with different magnification options. Several of the microscopes have associated cameras and software for image processing.

  • Polarized light microscopes
  • Stereo microscopes
  • Inverted microscopes
  • Microscopic analysis of samples
  • Imaging
  • Software with various analysis and measurement tools.

Contact persons: Caroline Ruud (geology), Julie Nikolaisen (Chemistry, environmental engineering, biology), Johan Andreas Håland Thorkaas (metallurgy,inverted light microscopes).

Raman spectroscopy

With the help of Raman spectroscopy, the structure of materials can be examined. The technique is based on the Raman effect and is based on molecular oscillations or lattice oscillations that are generated when a substance is exposed to electromagnetic radiation


In Raman spectroscopy a laser is applied to irradiate samples. This will polarise and excite the molecules, leading to frequency-shifted scattering, which carries information about the vibration frequency of the molecule in question. From the measured vibration spectra, one may learn about the binding, symmetry, and structure of molecules.

  • Renishaw inVia Qontor Raman Microscope 
  • The instrument can switch between a red, green and blue laser (633, 532 and 457 nanometre wavelength).
  • The samples may be in gas, liquid or solid state. Sample heating/cooling stages are available for the measurements at 77 K to 600 °C range.

Contact person: Olena Zavorotynska

Cathodoluminescence microscopy 

A cathodoluminescence microscope combines the methods of an electron microscope with the methods of a regular light-optical microscope. This makes it possible to study structures in crystals or substances that cannot be seen under normal lighting conditions.

Cathodoluminescence is a light effect on many minerals that occurs when the mineral is bombarded with electrons. The more impurities and crystal-lattice defects the material has, the more likely it is to give a cathodoluminescence signal. In the cathodoluminescence microscope, the effect can be seen as light in different colours, and the light can be measured for its wavelength spectrum.

  • Lumic hot-cathodoluminescence microscope HC6-LM
  • Olympus polarising microscope BXFM with vacuum chamber
  • Olympus XC10 CCD camera 
  • Princeton Instruments spectrometer Acton SP2300 with PIXIS 400B camera 
  • Cathodoluminescence photography (up to x10 lens)
  • Spectral measurements (areas from ca. 125 µm for weakly luminescent material like quartz, smaller areas for stronger-luminescent material)

Polished thin sections are required. As a standard for us, the equipment is set up and calibrated for wavelengths of 315-881 nm (near UV, visible light, near IR) with a measuring distance of 0.42 nm.. 

Contact persons: Carita Augustsson and Caroline Ruud

Confocal microscopy

Confocal microscopy is used to visualize subcellular structures, as you are able to focus a small beam of light at a narrow depth level at a time. Confocal microscopy is an optical imaging technique for increasing optical resolution by means of using a spatial pinhole to block out-of-focus light in image formation.

Capturing multiple two-dimensional images (x,y plane) at different depths (z plane) in a sample enables the reconstruction of three-dimensional structures (a process known as optical sectioning) within an object. This is commonly used in visualizing structures within life sciences but may also be used for materials sciences.

  • Leica TCS SP8 FALCON Lifetime Confocal Microscope 
  • A1 / A1R Confocal Laser Microscope System (Nikon) 
  • Protein localisation in cells and protein co-localisation studies
  • Live imaging of cells, organisms to study organelle function
  • Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM)

Contact person: Hong Lin

You might also be interested in:

HyTack: Tackling the Challenges in Hydrogen Economy through Education and Research

The HyTack project aims at developing and providing an educational base in the field of hydrogen technology to the stude...

New evidence for quark matter cores in massive neutron stars

Researchers at the University of Stavanger are now one step closer to finding out what is in the core of neutron stars. ...

Data-driven mathematical modelling

Mathematical models enable a scientific understanding of natural phenomena around us, and the study and optimization of ...

Whole Slide Imaging, Digitalization and Automation of Histopathological Lesion Evaluation in Marine Organisms

Use of histopathology to identify changes in marine species in response to contaminants is a long-known practice.

Geometry and analysis

The group conducts research in algebraic geometry, complex analysis and geometry, mathematical models and differential e...

Laboratories for chemistry and environmental technology

The Faculty of Science and Technology at UiS has several laboratories within the field of chemistry and environmental te...

Can blueberries prevent dementia?

Drinking juice with a lot of antioxidants, for example from blueberries, can be beneficial in preventing dementia. New r...

Laboratories for materials science

The Faculty of Science and Technology at UiS has several laboratories within the field of materials science. Here is an ...

Laboratories for biology and molecular biology

The Faculty of Science and Technology at UiS has several laboratories within the field of biology and molecular biology....

Functional materials and process chemistry group

We are developing functional materials and process chemistry for energy and environmental applications.

Library resources: Science and Technology

Do you need help finding literature for your assignment or thesis? Or help getting started with referencing? Check out o...

World leading experts in theoretical physics taught PhD students

Students from all over the world got the opportunity to meet some of the leading physicists at the 2022 XQCD PhD school.

The 15th Confinement conference (ConfXV) brings 230 physicist to UiS

The Quark confinement and the Hadron spectrum conference brought together 230 researchers for lectures and conversations...

UiS partner in new One Health project

The purpose of the new research project is to support advancement of Blastocystis research by bringing together professi...

In the core of a neutron star

How can the established theory of particle physics, the Standard Model, be used to predict the material properties of th...

SØLSTAIN: Red seaweed reproduction, growth and nutritional quality

Our research aims to contributing on a sustainable use of the red seaweed Palmaria palmata in aquaculture. The work focu...


Marine Sewage Outfalls – Environmental Impact Evaluation (SANOCEAN) focusing on ocean research including blue economy, c...

Porous Liquids: New porous liquids for gas separation and carbon capture

The Porous Liquids project aims at developing a new technology for environmentally friendly and efficient separation of ...

Funding for new research project on intestinal diseases

University of Stavanger (UiS) and Stavanger University Hospital (SUS) will work together to find solutions for patients ...

MOFsorbMET: Metal-organic frameworks for recovery and separation of critical metals

The MOFSORBMET project is developing MOFs for the adsorption-enhanced recovery of critical metals from the primary (mini...

Adventures in particle physics

Do you want to learn more about the smallest building blocks in nature? UiS have invited three world famous physicists t...

Green and sustainable chemistry

This research group focuses on exploring and implementing green and sustainable chemistry into novel biodegradable and n...

Organic chemistry

Organic chemistry provides useful tools to attack some of the big challenges we are facing in society.

Molecular parasitology and mitochondrial biochemistry

How do microbes affect human health, animal health and food security?

Quark-Lab: Centre for fundamental physics research (SFF)

A proposed centre of excellence (SFF), Quark-Lab will build a bridge between the collider physics and gravitational wave...

Research prize awarded to particle physicists and cosmologists

A young an amibitious research group received the Lyse Research Prize for 2019, having been recognized on the national a...

Complex and harmonic analysis

The field of complex analysis focuses on the study of calculus involving the complex numbers.

Materials physics

Research activities within the materials physics group focus on the structure and dynamics of novel materials.

Mathematical physics

In its broadest sense, mathematical physics may be construed as the application of rigorous mathematical methods to prob...

Theoretical subatomic physics and cosmology

Subatomic Physics and Cosmology covers particle and nuclear physics, as well as astroparticle physics, Big Bang-physics ...

Mathematical statistics

The mathematical statistics group does research both in statistical methodology and the application of such methodology ...

Algebraic geometry

Algebraic geometry is a branch of mathematics which classically is devoted to the study of solutions of polynomial equat...

Protein phosphatases and signalling

PP2A and PP4 (Protein Phosphatase 2A and Protein Phosphatase 4) are conserved enzymes found in all eukaryotes and are in...

Metabolic flexibility in cell systems

The research group lead by Hanne R. Hagland studies metabolic flexibility in cell systems.

ÅNDE – The biogenesis of photoautotrophy

Photosynthesis is the fundamental metabolic process on earth that has successfully enabled organisms to sustain evolutio...

Cellular metabolism and circadian systems

The research group led by Professor Peter Ruoff studies cellular metabolism and circadian systems using both molecular b...

Synthesis of PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

The PAH synthesis at UiS began as a bachelor thesis driven project to provide analytical reference materials for environ...

The Cognitive Lab

The Cognitive Lab is the only arena at UiS where all faculties meet and collaborate on research at the highest level. Th...

Ecotoxicology and environmental monitoring

Our research mainly focuses on the development of biological markers using molecular biology techniques for the purpose ...

Research in physics and mathematics

The research is concentrated on six specialisations. You will find more detailed information about each research subject...

More laboratories