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Delta College's Electron Microscopy Program Receiving High-Tech Microscope Donations
July 9, 2017
Delta College’s Electron Microscopy (EM) Program will receive two valuable electron microscopes from Applied Materials, Inc., and JEOL USA. Each will replace aging microscopes. “These instruments allows us to easily obtain a very high magnification – much better than our present instruments,” Frank Villalovoz., Electron Microscopy professor, said.
The EM program is the only program of its kind at any community college in the U.S. Delta’s high-tech EM program was started in 1970 under the leadership of Victor Remillard and Dr. Betty Mathews.
What is microscopy? It's the study of extremely small objects using a microscope. Electron microscopy is when an electron beam replaces light to form images of structures at nanoscale magnifications. According to FEI,
"Electron microscopes and ion beam microscopes are both amazing and incredibly complex scientific instruments used by research laboratories, universities, nanotechnology centers, and companies worldwide. Although few of us will ever own or use an electron microscope, their impact is pervasive, impacting our lives in a variety of ways, from the clothes we wear, to the tools and devices we use, and the food we eat. . . . Companies worldwide use electron microscopes in a variety of industrial applications including aeronautics, automotive manufacturing, clothing and apparel, machining, pharmacology, and many more. Forensic science, the application of science to law, is one example made popular by the television show "CSI" and others. Microscopic analysis of gunshot residue, blood samples, or clothing fibers to help solve crime is common on TV, and in real life."
“These donations will give our students exposure to the kind of microscopes they will use in contemporary labs,” Professor Villalovoz said, adding, “When these instruments were new, they cost in the multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The job market for trained microscopists is excellent. Students have the opportunity for employment with research scientists in laboratories, manufacturer's labs, health fields, and more.
Applied Materials, Inc., a multibillion dollar company that produces semiconductor manufacturing equipment, is donating the Hitachi S-4800 FE Scanning Electron Microscope. In addition, Hitachi High Technologies America is donating $20,000 for the installation, including a 25 percent discount on service and repairs for the coming year.
JEOL USA, an internationally known manufacturer of electron microscopes, is donating the JEOL 1200 EX II Transmission Microscope. In 2014, JEOL loaned the EX II to the program with free installation and service. The JEOL 1200 EX II can magnify samples up to 500,000 times. JEOL has a long-standing relationship with Delta’s EM Program, contributing microscopes, maintenance, and scholarships.
“Each company has hired our graduates in key positions," Cathy Davis, EM lab tech, said. “They are extremely happy with our students’ job performance.”
EM professor, Dr. Jon Krupp, appreciates the significance of these donations. “Without the generosity of our industry partners, we probably would never be able to purchase new instruments equivalent to these. We thank Applied Materials, Hitachi, and JEOL for their support of Delta’s EM program and our students through the years.”