Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre (PEMC) provides expert and specialist support to students, researchers, academics, business, and industry. We have a comprehensive range of light and electron microscopes which cater to a wide range of disciplines within the University, external research organisations, and industry clients. 
Our equipment is integrated with sophisticated software for image analysis, data processing and X-ray characterisation of materials, with facilities for rapid report generation.
Electron microscopy is an incredible analytical tool that utilises a high-powered beam of electrons to create high resolution images at high magnifications, to investigate elemental composition, and to explore crystallographic structures. Our dedicated technical team are on hand to provide expert guidance from sample preparation through to analysis and data processing. 
If you would like to access our facilities, please contact us using the information provided below.

Working with industry 

With over 30 years of experience working with industry, PEMC provides a comprehensive service that brings together academic expertise and research with businesses across the UK and beyond. PEMC has a commercial user group spanning a range of sectors including aerospace, manufacturing, engineering, biomedical, geology, and more. See how we helped local businesses with Plymouth Materials Characterisation Network, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Companies interested in working with us can get in contact by emailing us at
Case 2: Dead pixel study
FIB-SEM trench in material. 

Teaching and training at PEMC

We teach electron microscopy modules on a range of courses within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, including mechanical engineering, chemistry and earth sciences. This collaborative approach to teaching also enhances our links with these different areas of expertise, meaning that we can draw on their expertise to provide a full analytical service to all customers. Please contact the Faculty Office for Science and Engineering for details of individual courses on
We also offer teaching and practical training courses internally, introducing electron microscopy and its associated techniques. These courses are designed specifically for each of the major schools that use electron microscopy. One of the Technical Specialists from the lab will give the teaching seminar and there will be time for questions and discussion at the end. Please refer to the individual course details for further information.

PEMC offers

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
  • Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM)
  • Low-vacuum SEM (VP-SEM)
  • Cryo-SEM 
  • Electron BackScatter Diffraction (EBSD)
  • Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS)
  • Wavelength Dispersive Spectroscopy (WDS)
  • Tomography (3D acquisition and reconstruction)
  • Cathodoluminescence imaging (CL)
  • Automated Mineralogy 
  • Sample preparation for S/TEM, including resin-embedding, polished blocks, thin sections
  • Specimen coating, including gold, chrome, carbon, gold-palladium

Our experts