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Bayer School to Dedicate, Demonstrate New Scanning Electron Microscope

The Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences will dedicate its new Hitachi Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Facility and hold a campus workshop to demonstrate the capabilities of the equipment from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29, in Room 613 of the Duquesne Union.

The SEM, which replaced a 20-year old instrument, is equipped with energy dispersive spectroscopy, provides enhanced resolution and features ease of operation and remote access capabilities. The new microscope was purchased through a three-year, $310,890 National Science Foundation grant awarded to the Bayer School last year.

“This microscope is able to image features on a sample down to the nano regime, so you can see very fine details in the structure of a material that you can’t see at all with a light microscope that you would use at a normal chemistry lab bench,” explained Dr. Jennifer Aitken, associate professor of chemistry and principal investigator on the grant-winning proposal. “The capabilities are just phenomenal.”

The event will include introductions to scanning electron microscopy and electron back-scatter diffraction, as well as demonstrations of the SEM’s remote capabilities and applications.

“This dedication is important because it will educate everyone in the Duquesne University community, as well as our collaborators at other schools, about the diverse applications that can be investigated using Scanning Electron Microscopy,” added Aitken.

The new scanning electron microscope is housed in the ground floor of Mellon Hall. In addition to the campus community, other universities and even high schools can benefit by having access to the microscope. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock University, St. Vincent College and Sto-Rox High School have expressed interest in utilizing the instrument, which can be accessed online.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.