The University of Hong KongThe University of Hong Kong
University Central Facilities
Science and Engineering Core Service (Metaphase)

The Electron Microscope Unit houses seven electron microscopes. We provide advice and centralized training to both academic staff and research students in the preparation of specimens and the operation of the microscopes for the entire University. The principal users of the EMU facilities come from the faculties of engineering, medicine, and science. The unit manages three transmission electron microscopes, three scanning electron microscopes and one dual-beam focus ion beam system . Supporting this equipment is all the facilities necessary for the preparation of biological and metallic materials. These are all housed in Block T in the Queen Mary Hospital Compound.

The Electron Microscope Unit also provides facilities for a range of external organisations. If you are a researcher or student from another university or research institute and would like to use our facilities, please contact the EM unit's staff to discuss your project details.

If you wish to use our unit for contract and consulting work, please contact our EM unit's staff to discuss how we may help you.

About Us

The first electron microscope was installed in the Pathology Department of Queen Mary Hospital since 1968. In 1969, Professor James Gibson set up the Electron Microscope Unit to centralize the equipment in the University. And Now, the present Electron Microscope Unit (EMU) which houses three transmission electron microscope, three scanning electron microscopes and one dual-beam focus ion beam dedicated to providing electron microscope facilities to the whole university and to other institutions in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The facilities are keeping up-to-date by grants from the University of Hong Kong, the Research Grants Council, the Croucher Foundation and the Jockey Club. At present, there are over 350 registered users of the EMU each year, the figure is increasing each year as the University grows in its research activities.


To maintain an up-to-date variety of electron microscopes in a centralized facility aiming at producing high-quality research and to make this as accessible as possible to our users, whether they are experienced or not.

September 23, 2022, 6:20 pm
Duration: 2022-09-23 pm to 2022-10-07 pm
Reason: Valve failed
NEW MAINTENANCE Thermo Scientific Talos F200X STEM
September 23, 2022, 9:09 am
Duration: 2022-12-05 pm to 2022-12-23 pm
Reason: Reserved for training
MAINTENANCE FEI Tecnai G2 20 Scanning TEM
August 22, 2022, 10:27 am
Duration: 2022-08-21 pm to 2022-10-07 pm
Reason: Vacuum Problem
New branch of EMU in Haking Wong Building
July 11, 2022, 6:38 pm
A new branch of EMU in Haking Wong Building is ready for use. The laboratory accommodates four electron microscopes and one X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer.
  1. LEO 1530 FEG SEM (relocated from QMH)
  2. FEI Quanta 3D FIB (relocated from QMH)
  3. Thermo Scientific Talos F200X FEG STEM (New equipment)
  4. Thermo Scientific Themis ETEM (under installation)
  5. Thermo Scientific ESCALAB QXi XPS (waiting for delivery)
Equipment reservation will be available on 12 July 2022 at 09:00 am. Users can find a new site, "Electron Microscopes (Haking Wong Building)", in the drop-down list in the booking system. The booking session will start on 18 July 2022. As the shortage of workforce, EMU in Haking Wong Building will only open four days a week. The laboratory will close on Tuesday. EMU in Haking Wong is mainly for materials science research. The biological specimen should use the EMU facilities in Queen Mary Hospital.

The new laboratory is on the lower ground floor in Haking Wong building. There is no direct route can reach EMU lab in the building. Users should go to EMU from outside of the building.

Thermo Scientific Talos F200X FEG STEM is an ultra-high vacuum system. Frequently change samples should be avoided. It was recommended that NO MORE than four samples could be tested in 1.5 hours session. For the specification of the new equipment, please refer to the EMU website or manufacturer's website.

Electron Microscope Unit will be the backbone of the University Central Facilities in the future HKU Tech Landmark located on the main campus. Nanofabrication Laboratory, Materials Characterization Laboratory, HWB Electron Microscopy Laboratory and QMH Electron Microscopy Laboratory were set up as the metaphase of the central facilities. Laboratories will be provided services in these few months. Please pay attention to the further notice.
Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)
February 18, 2022, 3:38 pm

EMU is working together with hospital and university. We need to minimize the risk of potential COVID spread between individuals and ensure the hospital EM lab can provide service for the patients normally. We planned to purchase COVID test kit for the research students who want to use our facilities. Users must get NEGATIVE Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) result before access EMU facilities.

There are two cases to bring you get the pass to access EMU facilities.

1/ You already got Rapid Antigen Test kit from your faculty/ department/ unit and got negative RAT result on the same date of reserved session.

2/ You can get a Rapid Antigen Test kit from EMU before your session  (e.g one day before) and get negative RAT result on the same date of reserved session.