Facility

The Micro-Environmental Imaging and Analysis Facility (MEIAF) is a state-of-the-art imaging facility in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. MEIAF comprises equipment and personnel, which together offer a wealth of new imaging possibilities for researchers in academia, government, and industry.

The difference: Many samples -- including environmental, biological, and materials science specimens -- are destroyed or masked by conventional scanning electron microscopy (SEM) preparation and imaging methods. The technology in MEIAF allows for conventional SEM but features environmental SEM (ESEM). ESEM circumvents destructive sample preparations and allows the option of imaging under a moderate vacuum and in a moist atmosphere. The result is that specimens are imaged in their native state. All specimens -- including hard matter and even soft materials that are wet, oily,or frozen -- are candidates for ESEM.

What we offer: MEIAF's environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) allows specimens to be maintained at near-ambient pressure during high-resolution imaging. This capability facilitates direct observation of dynamic experiments, such as crystal formation, hydration, and dehydration. The energy-dispersive spectrometer (EDS) enables X-ray detection and quantification for elemental analysis. A cryo stage and transfer system allows for frozen specimen observation and freeze-fracture preparation. MEIAF is staffed with full-time personnel who assist researchers with imaging and developing applications.