Octanis SEM

On a mission to repair a Cambridge Instruments Stereoscan 120 scanning electron microscope from the 80s. Learning how to fix it is where the challenge lies!

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About the Scanning Electron Microscope

Repair, reuse, learn!

In the end of 2017 we found an offer online of somebody giving away an old scanning electron microscope (SEM). After some considering it was clear to us that this is an amazing opportunity that we can not let pass by. After some weeks of back and forth and organizing a transport we finally got the SEM to Lausanne and can now say that we own a scanning electron microscope!

The miscroscope is in a very good state and has been used until recently, when a fault in the electronics appeared. This means, that our first goal is to repair the instrument to bring it back to its full working condition. This in itself will already be quite an adventure, as we will need to learn how the seem works inside out. Thankfully the schematics of the device are available to us, which will make the repair much less painful. Eventually we want to experiment with the miscroscope, take amazing pictures and as with all our tools, make it available to anybody. So imagine a place, where you can freely make microscopy pictures with an magnification of up to 50'000x!


Use the links below to start exploring our current work on the SEM. We keep track of what we do publicly to enable collaboration and hope that other electron microscope owners reach out.

Doc Overview Schematics PCB List Map