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Microscopy and Microanalysis Facility

MMF houses a broad range of advanced microanalysis instrumentation providing high quality chemical, mineralogical and microstructural information, and high resolution images for research and technical publications. The facility staff have expertise in Materials and Earth Science research which is used to support both academic and applied research in science, engineering and biological disciplines across a broad range of academic projects and in Western Australian industries, particularly in minerals and energy sectors.



  • High resolution imaging with secondary electrons (SE), backscattered electrons (BSE) and cathodoluminescence (CL)
  • Panorama imaging in SE, BSE and CL modes
  • Qualitative and quantitative energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) elemental analysis
  • Electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) for phase and orientation analysis
  • Large area mapping (LAM) for EDS and EBSD
  • Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction (TKD)
  • Ga+ Focused Ion Beam (FIB) sample manipulation for sectioning, in-situ lift-out and 3D imaging (via FIB Facility)
  • Variable pressure (VP) imaging of delicate/uncoated/moist samples
  • Light microscopy, including low magnification stereomicroscopy
  • Sample preparation equipment including carbon and platinum coaters
  • Mounting/polishing equipment (via DMH)


  • Atomic lattice imaging
  • STEM imaging in HAADF, BF and DF modes
  • Qualitative and quantitative energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) elemental analysis
  • Single tilt and low background double tilt holders
  • TEM, STEM and EDS tomography
  • Electron diffraction by SAD and CBED


The Mira3 is a variable pressure field emission scanning electron microscope (VP-FESEM) that features sensitive EDS and EBSD detectors and integrated software for high quality microstructural analysis of crystalline samples.



The Neon is a dual-beam field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM). This instrument combines high resolution imaging with energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry (EDS) and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD).




The Evo is a variable pressure scanning electron microscope (VP-SEM). The microscope is suitable for general purpose microstructural analysis at high vacuum, or for the analysis of non-conductive/hydrated samples at lower vacuum.




The FEI Talos field emission gun (FEG) transmission electron microscope (TEM) is built on an advanced operating platform for atomic lattice resolution imaging and nanoscale microanalysis. The TEM is equipped with highly sensitive Super-X EDS detectors for elemental analysis. This instrument is capable of 3D tomography investigations in all modes of operation (TEM, STEM & EDS).


MMF Coaters

Sample Preparation Laboratory

The MMF has a suite of equipment that includes an ion mill, coaters and desiccator systems that are used to prepare samples for electron microscopy. It also has access to vacuum mounting and automated polishers (via DMH) and mills (via XRDSF).

Light Microscopy Laboratory

Light Microscopy Laboratory

The MMF has a dedicated light microscopy laboratory with a Nikon ME600 light microscope and a Nikon SMZ800 stereo microscope. There is also a computer with image analysis software.



Collaborative research, training and education, consultancy

Earth Science

  • Quantification of sample microstructure and mineralogy
  • High resolution EDS and EBSD mapping of geological samples
  • Characterisation of crystallographic preferred orientations in deformed minerals
  • Formation and deformation of ore minerals and ore bodies

Materials Science

  • Characterisation of crystallographic texture and orientation
  • Analysis of morphology, particle size and porosity
  • Fracture and damage analysis

Chemical Science

  • High resolution imaging and chemical analysis of electrodes, nano-particles and reaction products
  • Crystallographic analysis of complex synthetic samples

Life Science

  • Microstructural analysis of hydrated, fragile and biological samples

Access to MMF


  • To register or enquire about rates please contact MMF via email.

Access to Instrumentation

  • Curtin staff/students and associates – There is a Registration Fee for all new users, which also covers a new user meeting to discuss your access requirements and appropriate sample preparation. It is compulsory to attend the MMF Induction if you will be using the Preparation Laboratory or any of the instruments unsupervised. After completing training, regular users can book MMF instruments via our online booking system; irregular users will need to email us to arrange a suitable time when they, a technician and the instrument are available.
  • All other users – Please email us to discuss your access.