The digital imaging hub is based within the Institute of Petroleum Engineering. It comprises the Centre for Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (CESEM), opened in 1998, that includes a suite of scanning electron microscopes (SEM), and image processing / manipulation PC / workstation facilities. Future plans include the expansion of SEM facilities, and the possible inclusion of x-ray tomography (XRT), and a range of complementing optical and digital microscopes. Additional optical microscopes are currently available within the Lyell Centre and through the British Geological Survey (BGS), and XRT at the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS); in addition a dual beam SEM is also available within EPS, and super resolution optical microscopes at IB3.
SEM facilities include energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) analysis, an electron backscattered diffraction detector (EBSD), and cathololuminescence (CL) imaging. In addition samples can be wetted for wettability studies, manipulated using a pair of tensile-compression stages, and heated to 1000°C.