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March 24, 2021

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Update

Since the generous donation made by the Parents’ Group last year, the Electron Microscopy at St Paul’s has come on leaps and bounds. We have had two Community Science lectures, delivered by myself and Alex Ball, Head of Imaging at the Natural History Museum.

The entire Lower Eighth, Physics cohort has benefitted from a four-lesson enrichment course, including the theory behind the SEM and practical operation and sample preparation, which will become an annual feature of our A Level Physics course. We plan to roll out similar enrichment in Biology and Chemistry.

We have also started a competition with our partner schools and St Paul’s Juniors in which they propose projects and Paulines operate the SEM and provide imaging remotely. Finally, we have two Lower Eighth students who have taken on research projects of their own; Hugo Berman is looking into surface texture of photographic paper, while Seb Marsoner is looking to start investigating Lithium-ion battery components.

Images below are of butterfly wing scales and different types of photographic paper, all of which have benefitted from the Gold Sputter Coater, which is enabling us to achieve incredible magnification and resolution.

Written by: Mr Luke Warriner, Teacher of Physics 

SEM Images

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