UBC Okanagan Campus SEMLab


The SEMLab Annual Report for 2013 is now released. Thank you to all who helped draft this document!


The UBC Okanagan Facility for Scanning-Electron Microscopy, coordinated by Dr. Andre Phillion, Dr. Mark Rheault, and Dr. John Greenough is a multi-user electron microscopy imaging facility available to all researchers at UBCO and industrial partners in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. The mission of the SEMLab is to provide UBC researchers and collaborators with state-of-the-art instrumentation, training and services for high-resolution scanning electron microscopy on a cost recovery basis.

Use of the Facility

The SEMLab is a research and service facility, open to universities, colleges, and outside groups including both private and public organizations. We provide complete individual training for scanning electron microscopy and specimen preparation as time and resources permit.

Use of the SEMLab is charged on an hourly basis. Click here to get a list of current SEMLab user fees, and facility policies.

New Users should contact Mr. David Arkinstall to arrange a first-time-use meeting. Click here to download the first-time users guide, and the Usage Authorization Form.

Interested in learning more about imaging techniques and sample preparation? Clide here to download a short introductory guide outlining issues surrounding imaging of various specimens and things to consider when preparing your samples.

Tescan Mira3 XMU SEM


The SEMLab has a full suite of instruments for imaging and characterization via scanning-electron microscopy. In addition, a complete biological, geological and materialographic specimen preparation laboratory is available for use by approved users. Major instruments include the following:

  • Tescan Mira3 XMU Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope with variable pressure mode that combines the advantages of the high vacuum model with extended facility for low vacuum operation. In the low vacuum mode, non-conductive specimens can be examined in their natural, uncoated state at chamber pressures up to 150 Pa.
  • Oxford AZtec X-Max EDS system with 80 mm2 silicon drift detector for fast and accurate chemical analysis.
  • Oxford AZtecHKL EBSD system with HKNordlysisMax EBSD detector for fast data acquisition and good sensitivity.
  • Postprocessing Workstation for EDS and EBSD analysis once the patterns have been acquired with the SEM.
  • Specimen Preparation Equipment including a complete set of cutting, grinding, and polishing instruments from Struers for metallographic specimen preparation and a HM255S Automatic rotary microtome for section or paraffin or plastic embedded sections, and a HM650V vibrating microtome for cutting fixed and unfixed tissue samples as well as non-biological specimens.

About Us

The UBC Okanagan Facility for Scanning-Electron Microscopy was established in 2011 thanks to a generous donation by the Charles E Fipke Foundation, and funding provided by Western Economic Development Canada. The SEMLab directly supports basic and applied research within the Southern Interior of British Columbia. This facility provides an engine for R&D growth through development of new mineral exploration techniques, manufacturing process optimization development of new bioremediation processes, environmental toxicology markers, organometallic polymers, and a myriad of other exciting research areas currently being explored in the Okanagan valley. We welcome enquiries from partners who would be interested in using the facility, or collaborating on new projects.

to top

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia