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Published: November 16, 2011

UT Installs Scanning Electron Microscope in Laboratory

University of Tampa students have a new tool for scientific research that is the only one of its kind in Florida and is most usually found in prestigious research institutions and professional laboratories — a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

The SEM enhances UT research capabilities by allowing students and faculty to view specimens in unprecedented detail and clarity and to see structures not visible with light microscopes, at magnifications from 5x to 300,000x. The SEM provides for traditional viewing of specimens, yet is especially noted as the first of a new generation of touch-screen instruments that includes an energy dispersive spectrometer for elemental analysis.

The SEM was put online recently as the key instrument in the new electron microscopy lab in the science wing of Plant Hall.

Jim Gore, dean of the College of Natural Health and Sciences, said the microscope is a critical tool in today’s science and will give UT students a step-up when they move to graduate school or into professional lab services.

The instrument will be the focus of UT’s Essentials of Electron Microscopy course (BIO 390), which will be offered in the fall semester of 2012. The instrument will also be used in UT’s forensic science and invertebrate zoology curriculums.

Purchase of the SEM was made possible in part by the contributions of Dr. and Mrs. R. Vijayanagar.