Environmental scanning electron microscope

Made 1978

This electron microscope is the first environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) in the world. Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy is an Australian innovation and was invented in Australia on this machine. ESEM units enable the study of objects at high magnification (up to greater than X 100,000) in their natural state or under their natural environmental conditions without destroying the object, and without an applied coating such as sputtered gold, which can destroy sensitive obj...


Environmental scanning electron microscope, prototype, steel / aluminium / plastic / rubber/ glass, modified JEOL JSM2 (1968), made by Dr Gerry Danilatos, Australia, 1978 - 2003

The ESEM consists of five main components and numerous accessories. (1) The main console rack houses the electron optical column and specimen chamber. A high-tension electric cable is attached to the top of the electron optical column. The high-tension power supply, in the lower part of the console rack, has inlet and outlet ports for cooling water. An evacuation port attaches the specimen chamber to the two (2 and 3) rotary vacuum pumps.

(4) The display and operation system houses the electronic controls for the electron beam, detection devices and imaging systems, such as cathode ray tube viewing screen, and a Polaroid camera to photograph the television image. (5) A power supply box provides stabilised power to the display and operation system.

Accessories include metal and plastic specimen holders that allow a specimen to be viewed under environmentally controlled conditions while it is in the path of the electron beam.


This unit, originally a JEOL JSM-2 scanning electron microscope, owned by UNSW, was transferred to CSIRO Wool Research Division, already converted to ESEM mode by Dr. Gerry Danilatos, who then brought it to a state-of-the art prototype just prior to its commercialisation. Commercial prototype models (ElectroScan) based on Danilatos's environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) patents derived from this unit, first appeared in 1988. Philips Electronics North America Corporation purchased ElectroScan (11/07/1996) to form Philips Electroscan, which changed to FEI Company (21/02/1997) on merging Philips ElectroScan with FEI. There are now thousands of ESEMs in use world-wide; no research body dealing in biological or environmental mode studies can do without a ESEM.


Gift of Dr Gerry Danilatos, 2010
3 May, 2010

Cite this Object

Environmental scanning electron microscope 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 September 2017, <https://ma.as/319604>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/319604 |title=Environmental scanning electron microscope |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 September 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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