MSU SEM History

Michigan State University was one of the first universities in the country to acquire an SEM.

In 1970, Michigan State University had the foresight to purchase a newly developed microscope called a scanning electron microscope or SEM. The first commercial SEM had entered the market only five years before. The SEM that MSU purchased was the second such microscope sold in the State of Michigan!

Fig. 1. The request for the SEM sent to Vice President of Research Dr. Milton Muelder.

The microscope is shown in the photo below, taken in 1975. It was a model AMR-900, produced by the Advanced Metals Research Corporation, Burlington, MA. In the photo, the Director of CAM at the time (Dr. Gary Hooper) is standing and the SEM Supervisor (Dr. Stanley Flegler) is seated at the right. On a good day, this microscope was capable of images at 5,000x. The current high resolution JEOL 7500F SEM at CAM can achieve images at 1,000,000x.

The AMR-900 SEM.

Formal classroom instruction on the microscope by Director Dr. Gary Hooper began in 1973 under NSC-801 Special Problems in Electron Microscopy. In 1976, the class NSC-820 Methods of Scanning Electron Microscopy was established. In 1980 instruction in the class was passed to the new Director Dr. Karen Klomparens. In 1981 instruction in NSC-820 was passed to the SEM Supervisor Dr. Stanley Flegler who has been instructor of record for 43 years. Over the years, over 1,400 graduate students have received formal SEM instruction at CAM with an emphasis on underlying theory and individual one-on-one instruction.

The 1976 Descriptions of Courses showing the newly added NSC-820 class.