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The Wolfson Electron Microscopy Suite

Working with Microscopes in the Facility

Users who are considering the most effective way of performing electron microscopy in the Wolfson Electron Microscopy Suite are welcome to contact WEMS staff to discuss their specific needs. In general we advise:

Type of EM Access required Likely Workflow
One-off EM session Grant/PO from user, measurement done by WEMS or EMG staff
Several EM sessions required to complete work (multiple specimens, different experiments, etc.) Grant/PO from user, user is trained by WEMS staff until independent on the instrument
Moderate amount of EM, advanced applications Grant/PO from user, measurement done by/with WEMS or EMG staff as academic collaboration depending on availability

Direct access to WEMS

Users who wish to access the Wolfson Electron Microscopy Suite should be aware of the following procedures:

Note: the purchase order proves the ability to cover cost of microscopy sessions, but no money is transferred until EM hours have been used and the department has been invoiced. Sending a purchase order does not imply an immediate money transfer!

  • Prospective user creates a user profile on PPMS at
  • User fills in the WEMS Training Request Form(s) on PPMS choosing between: FIB/SEM, SEM, TEM forms (for novices and new users of the Facility) or Advanced Techniques (for experienced users of the facility). Direct link (you need to login to PPMS first): here
  • External (non-MSM) users arrange a purchase order for a sufficient amount of microscopy time (i.e. 10 hours on Nova NanoSEM = 550 GBP) with
  • WEMS staff will contact the user to arrange training sessions
  • Training (normally 2-5 sessions for new users, depending on needs) takes place. This ends when the EM driving test is completed successfully
  • After the driving test, the user is allowed to book sessions on their own
  • At the end of each month, grant codes (MSM) are charged or external users are invoiced.



Training and Access Requests

Due to the complex operation of a TEM, users requiring training on an instrument are expected, if they have no prior experience, to have attended a TEM course and/or to have studied relevant textbooks. MSM runs graduate courses on TEM and microanalysis in Michaelmas Term, which are open to students and postdocs from all departments. Please contact the academic secretary, Dr Rosie Ward (remw2), if you are interested in attending these courses.

If you are new to electron microscopy, a meeting will be arranged to discuss your training schedule.

If you are a trained user of equivalent microscopes in other facilities, a meeting will be arranged to discuss your access needs and our local procedures.


Note to Supervisors:
We cannot overstate the importance of the information supplied by users (or their supervisors) regarding the nature of the project for which access to the microscopes is sought. This helps us assess which techniques and microscopes are most suitable for the work, so we can tailor the training schedule. Incomplete information may lead to delays in the training/access process.


Facility Charges

Click here to see the current charges for using the electron microscopes.

For internal and external users interested in costing electron microscopy experiments for research grant proposals, please contact Dr John Walmsley, WEMS Facility Manager, at


Quick updates

New PPMS booking system going live on 1st July 2022. 

ThermoScientific Spectra 300 is ready!