News & Events

Fall Image Contest Open

(MC)2 invites users to submit to our fall image contest between now and Tuesday, November 19. The contest is open to all graduate students and post-docs at U-M or other universities. Images must be obtained using an instrument at the center and may be artistically modified if you choose.  

As we have previously, center staff will select one winning image and three runners-up to frame and display in our office area. Others may also be featured in the ongoing photo collage in the hallway outside the (MC)2 office. Once the collage has been filled, we plan to add an informational plaque.

The first-place winner will also receive a $50 gift card to a local restaurant of their selection, and runners-up $25 gift cards.

To enter, click here

Please upload the highest quality image you can with regard to file size, bit depth, and resolution. Preferred image width is 1024 px or above and in .tif format. You are welcome to submit multiple entries if you would like, and we will automatically include all non-winning entries from past contests for consideration.

All submissions should include the following:

  • A title for the image
  • A clear and detailed legend
  • A short paragraph describing the scientific context
  • Explanation of any artistic modification of the image (if relevant)

Participants grant the center permission to use their images in the future in various forms, such as brochures, educational materials for other users, or featuring on our website or other media.


In-situ Ion Irradiation TEM Open for Use

We are excited to announce that the center’s collaboration with the Michigan Ion Beam Lab (MIBL) has begun, and users can now request training or service work on a 300 kV transmission electron microscope attached to an ion beam system. The microscope, an FEI Tecnai G2 F30 TWIN, is located at MIBL on the North Campus and can be used as either a regular TEM, or in its paired capacity for in-situ ion irradiation studies. This experimental setup makes University of Michigan one of only a few locations in the U.S. (and currently the only university in the country) to offer an ion beam and electron beam combination. (MC)2 research scientist Kai Sun and MIBL lab manager Ovidiu Toader will helm new projects and coordinate training at the MIBL facility.

TEM Location in MIBL (Click to Enlarge)

The microscope will be of particular value to nuclear research groups, with applications that may extend more widely in the future. The initial motivation is to help design improved radiation-resistant materials for new generations of nuclear reactors. Primarily, interfacing the microscope with the accelerator allows for observation of changes in the microstructure of materials under ion irradiation that can help in understanding initiative damage in materials irradiated by neutrons. Because the research reveals high-energy ion beam effects on materials, it could also be useful for applications such as evaluating detector performance under radiation, or even medical treatments by ion beam (recent studies at other labs, for example, have investigated ion beam effects on tumors).

Two separate ion species can be combined for delivery to the TEM stage, which is invaluable for simulating the effects of neutron irradiation. Normally He ions are introduced to achieve this. The more ions that can be introduced to the TEM simultaneously, the closer conditions to those of neutron irradiation can be reproduced. (MC)2 and MIBL’s configuration would be the first of its type in the U.S. that can introduce two beams simultaneously—currently He and Kr.

The microscope can also be used as a general TEM independently from the attached ion implanter. In this function, it is similar to the TEMs in the (MC)2 lab. The TF30 has a lower resolution in STEM mode than the two aberration-corrected TEMs, but a higher resolution in TEM mode, large tilt range, and a higher e-beam energy that can be especially useful for thicker samples.

The scope is available now to registered U-M users, as well as industry and external academic researchers. The center’s regular rates and user policies apply to all microscope use.

Any questions?
Contacts: Kai Sun,; Ovidiu Toader,
Full system details:


Dragonfly Webinar July 17

(MC)2 is hosting a Dragonfly lunch-and-learn webinar on July 17, which will be of interest to users of our Zeiss Xradia Versa 520 3D X-ray microscope. We will be joined by a Dragonfly expert who will walk us through analyzing two tomography datasets in the Dragonfly software. Pizza lunch will be provided. 

Notable topics of interest will include data segmentation, i.e., 2D segmentation via histogram thresholding, using the segmentation trainer, watershed algorithms, and masking regions of data for easy segmentation. 

We will also explore working with meshes, data quantification, and extraction of particle and porosity size distributions. 

Please register at the link below if you plan to join so we can get a proper headcount.

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