Microscopy Facility

Learn more about the microscopy facility at Central Michigan University and how you can start researching with cutting edge equipment right on campus.

If you have questions about our microscopy facility, reach out to one of our experienced personnel members.

NameDepartmentOfficePhone numberEmail
Philip OshelBiologyBiosciences 1304989-774-3576philip.oshel@cmich.edu
Joanne M. DannenhofferBiologyBiosciences 3408989-774-2509 danne1jm@cmich.edu
Philip L. HertzlerBiologyBiosciences 3406989-774-2393philip.l.hertzler@cmich.edu
Jonathan KeltyBiologyBiosciences 4103989-774-1382kelty1jd@cmich.edu
Eric W. LintonBiologyBiosciences 3401989-774-3969eric.linton@cmich.edu
Anna MonfilsBiologyBiosciences 2401989-774-2492monfi1ak@cmich.edu
Daniel E. WujekBiologyProfessor EmeritusN/Adaniel.e.wujek@cmich.edu


Hitachi HT7700 Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope next to a desk with a computer on it in the microscopy facility.

Hitachi HT7700 STEM

The Hitachi HT7700 STEM (Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope) is the newest instrument in the imaging facility.

It has a LaB6 emitter for a brighter beam, the EXALENS optional high-resolution lens, and does both transmission EM and scanning EM using a transmitted electron detector. The 7700 also has a Thermo-Noran System Seven energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometer with the silicon-drifter detector.

It can also do electron-beam diffraction for study of crystal lattices.

Nikon A1R Confocal Microscope on a desk next to a computer in the microscopy lab.

Nikon A1R CLSM

The NIKON A1R is the new scanning laser confocal light microscope (CLSM). It is based on a Nikon Eclipse inverted microscope, and has Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) optics. The A1R is the primary research confocal microscope.

This microscope uses a spectral detector for confocal scanning laser imaging, and also has a transmitted-light detector. Imaging capabilities include reflected-light confocal and transmitted-laser DIC imaging. It has 3 solid-state lasers and a dual-line argon gas laser, producing excitation lines at 403, 457/476, 488/514, 560, and 640 nm.

Objective lenses

4X, 10X, multi-immersion 20X, 40X oil-immersion, 60X water-immersion, and 60X oil-immersion.

Olympus Fluoview 300 CLSM

Students use our Olympus Fluoview 300 CLSM ​​every day to learn confocal microscopy.

Our Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope​ is based on an Olympus BX50 upright microscope, and has Differential Interference Contrast optics and two extra-long working distance water immersion objectives on a special two position turret. A microinjection system for electrophysiological studies is also available.

This microscope is used in the Bio 553 Confocal Microscopy class. It uses three PMT detectors, two for epi-confocal imaging, and one for transmitted-light imaging. Imaging capabilities include reflected-light confocal and transmitted-laser DIC imaging. Argon 488 nm and He/Ne lasers are installed on the microscope.

Objective lenses

4X, 10X, 20X, 60X Plan Apochromat DIC; 40X Plan Fluorite DIC; 20X Plan Fluorite Long Working Distance Phase; 20X and 40X Plan Fluorite Water-immersion DIC


Narishige hydraulic hanging joystick-controlled fine and coarse micromanipulators

The Hitachi 3400 Scanning Electron Microscope next to a desk with multiple computer screens in the microscopy lab.

Hitachi 3400N-II Scanning Electron Microscope

The Hitachi 3400N-II has a tungsten filament electron gun with a large, motorized specimen chamber and has variable-pressure capability and an IR chamberscope. It is also equipped with a Deben cooling stage.

There are several detectors on this instrument: the usual secondary detector, a 5-element backscattered electron detector, an environmental secondary electron detector, a Thermo-Noran System Seven energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometer with a silicon-drift detector, and a Gatan color cathodoluminescence detector.

Other equipment

The imaging facility also has necessary specimen preparation equipment. We have Denton 502B carbon coater, an Anatech Hummer sputter coater, a SPI large-chamber critical-point dryer, and 2 RMC Powertome ultramicrotomes for producing thin sections for TEM.

On the right an Anatech Sputer Coater and on the left a SPI Critical Point Dryer in the microscopy lab.
A Denton 502B Carbon Coater in the microscopy lab.
Two RMC Powertome Ultramicrotomes on tables next to each other in the microscopy lab.


Preparatory equipment

Samples for viewing in microscopes, particularly biological samples, usually require special preparation methods. This is especially true of samples to be viewed in electron microscopes, where they must withstand high vacuums and bombardment with high-voltage electron beams.

These sample preparation methods typically use specialized instruments, available in the Imaging Facility:

  • ​​Ladd Research vacuum evaporator for carbon or metal evaporation.
  • Denton Desk II sputter coater with either gold or 60/40 gold/palladium target.
  • Polaron "bomb" critical-point dryer.
  • 1 RMC Powertome and 2 MT-2B Sorvall ultramicrotomes.
  • RMC GMK glass knife maker.
  • Standard chemicals and equipment for fixing and embedding samples for confocal microscopy, SEM, and TEM.
  • Equipment for freeze-fixation by plunging into liquid nitrogen and for making and plunge-freezing into slush nitrogen.

Please contact Philip Oshel by email or by phone at 989-774-3576 for information or consultation on use of the preparation equipment, specimen preparation, and design of studies using microscopy.

Light microscope cleaning procedures

Microscopes are sophisticated instruments that require periodic maintenance and cleaning. Dust, lint, pollen, dirt, and oil can cause a deterioration of image quality.

​A few guidelines to follow:

  • NEVER mix immersion oil types.
  • ALWAYS clean immersion oil off oil lenses when you are finished with a scope (or at the end of a lab or end of the day).
  • Immersion oil that is left on a lens or mixed with other oils can solidify and ruin the lens.
  • Do not use cotton swabs (Q-tips and the like) to clean lenses! The cotton fibers will scratch lens coatings. Dacron and foam-tipped swabs are OK.

Major component routine cleaning

  1. Routine disinfection of ocular to prevent transmission of conjunctivitis. Using a piece of non-linting lens paper soaked in 70% ethanol, lightly blot the surface to disinfect. Do not saturate the ocular! Air dry or use bunched lens paper to soak up the excess.
  2. Routine cleaning of oils and fingerprints and other contamination. First, use a duster and gently blow off the lens. Then, start with a bunched-up piece of non-linting lens paper dipped in lens cleaner (purple solution, aka Sparkle) and lightly blot the lens. Soak up any of the excess solution on the lens surface with fresh paper.
  3. Do not let the lens cleaner air dry! Remove it with a fresh, non-linting lens paper, very gently wiping the remaining lens cleaner from the lens, moving the paper in one direction (left to right, up to down, or the like). Use as much lens paper as needed to do the job.

Clean following the same procedure above in Oculars. Extreme care should be given to cleaning the objectives, and this should only be done by an experienced user. If you are unsure about cleaning objectives, ask Philip Oshel in 024c Brooks Hall.

  1. Clean first with 70% ethanol and a Kim-wipe (not paper towels).
  2. If residue or contamination still remains, use the lens cleaner on a Kim-wipe to further clean the stage.
  3. Care must be taken not to saturate the moving parts of the stage when cleaning!
  1. In general, the body of the microscope shouldn't need to be cleaned.
  2. The scopes are cleaned completely once a year.
  3. If it needs cleaning right away, follow the guidelines for cleaning the stage.

If the image does not improve or if you are unsure about any of the above procedures, please notify Philip Oshel in 024C Brooks Hall or at (989) 774-3576.