1224 Gardner Hall
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7615
919.515.2664 (voice)
919.515.8293 (fax)

John M. Mackenzie
Professor and Coordinator, Center for Electron Microscopy

Electron Microscopy

Research Brief

My research is focused on using computers to acquire images, control microscopes, and create novel inexpensive systems to facilitate image analysis. We were the first to develop complete computer and five axis stage control systems for the transmission electron microscope. Our most significant contribution has been the development of a gated integrator for acquiring digital images from the scanning electron microscope. Images can thus be obtained which approach photographic quality. We have also developed the ability to write digital images back to the microscope, with the complete system now available as a commercial system from a major manufacturer. An inexpensive digital stereo viewing system has been developed that uses tilted pairs of digital images to create three dimensional images with startling depth. This capability will greatly enhance our ability to interpret scanning electron micrographs in the future.

We have a strong collaborative effort with the Analytical Instrumentation Facility in our College of Engineering. Using our expertise in cell biology and biological specimen preparation, we are pursuing the use of new scanning probe technologies for biological imaging. This includes the use of atomic force microscopy with extremely sharp tips for biological imaging and focused ion beams to do nano-surgery on biological specimens. This technology, when used in conjunction with our new high resolution field emission scanning electron microscope, may allow us to examine biological specimens in ways that were not previously possible.