This month, Northern Arizona University’s Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is celebrating its fourth year on campus. Provided by funding from the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation Program, the more than $600,000 device uses a variety of specialized detectors to provide high-resolution, 3D-like images of anything from light bulb filaments and snake skin to blood cells and insect tongues.

The microscope is located in the Imaging and Histology Core Facility (IHCF) in the Wettaw building on Flagstaff’s Mountain Campus and is open to all NAU and community members seeking imaging or histology data. Staff in the facility provide consultation and training in all aspects of light and electron microscopy staining, imaging and sample preparation.