Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Process At A Glance

  • Consult with staff about experiment
  • Fix sample and bring to lab
  • Submit form for service
  • EM does specimen preparation
  • Scientist schedules microscope time
  • Microscopy-visualization

Location: Thomas Building, DE-780
Contact phone: (206) 667-4289
Contact fax: (206) 667-1166
Contact e-mail:

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is primarily useful for giving a three-dimensional image of the surface of the specimen and is for viewing large objects (e.g. Drosophila).

Scanning electron microscopy services include:

  • Fixation and dehydration
  • HMDS or critical point drying (Tousimis critical point dryer)
  • Sputter Coating (Denton desk IV sputter coater)
  • Scanning EM of whole cells, bulk specimens, i.e. embryos, Drosophila, etc.
  • Microscopy using the JEOL JSM 6610LV
  • Microscopy and Training

Microscope operation on the scanning electron microscope (JEOL JSM 6610LV) may be conducted by individuals (either alone or with assistance), or may be provided by EM staff. Sign-up for microscope time or viewing time with resource staff using iLab.


Training will be provided by the EM staff on the operation of the microscope. All self users will be required to demonstrate competency on the instrument to be considered qualified to use the instrument alone. For more in depth classes in various areas of electron microscopy please see training. Links to many EM training resources are provided in the EM Resources and Training LibGuide.

Obtaining your Data (Images)

Images resulting from microscopy can be saved in your fred account, on the server maintained by the Center's IT department.

If you do not have a ‘fred’ account, please submit the computing account application form.

Located in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, the facility serves Fred Hutchinson, Cancer Consortium, and all other Seattle area researchers.