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Electron Microscopy Sciences

EMS Microscopy Academy Applications

Workshop Information

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arrow13Pharmaceutical Chemical Imaging Workshop

This workshop is designed as an intensive introduction to chemical imaging in pharmaceutical development.

Examples of the Microscopy of Pharmaceuticals

Energy dispersive x-ray chemical map of a sectioned multivitamin tablet.
Fluorescence microscopy image of a sectioned multivitamin tablet.

Cross-sectioned Naproxen Sodium tablet imaged by SEM backscattered electron detection.

EDS spectrum of Naproxen Sodium tablet.

Targeted Participants

This course is intended for all analysts and managers who are interested in the details of chemical imaging.

Scope of Class

The workshop topics include theory, sample preparation, image generation, digital image analysis, and data presentation. It exclusively treats chemical imaging of pharmaceutical tablets.

The workshop is conducted over 2 days with a mixture of theory, demonstrations, and hands-on work. The emphasis is on laboratory exercises with real samples and attendees are encouraged to bring their own samples. The laboratory work uses SEM/EDS to illustrate chemical imaging although other images such as fluorescence and Raman maps will be discussed and illustrated.

The goal of the workshop is to teach the basic operations of chemical imaging to prepare the student to generate and interpret such images in their own laboratory.


The EMS Microscopy Academy
Located in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, the Academy provides electron microscopy classes, workshops and training sessions for all fields of microscopy, including materials science and biological science.


Laboratory exercises and demonstrations are the primary teaching tools. Brief lectures on pertinent subjects are presented. Participants are encouraged to bring their own samples, if possible. Laboratory exercises are designed to teach the student how to collect and interpret chemical images.

Main Curriculum

  • Theory of chemical imaging using SEM/EDS, fluorescence microscopy and IR/Raman micro-spectroscopy
  • Tablet sample preparation for SEM/EDS, fluorescence microscopy and IR/Raman micro-spectroscopy.
  • Image generation using SEM/EDS.
  • Image analysis techniques to generate quantitative values.
  • Data presentation

Instruments available

Leica and RMC Ultramicrotomes Hitachi S3500 SEM COXEM SEM EM-30N
Image Analysis Software NIGHTSEA SFA Bruker Esprit (SDD)


Robert Carlton
Robert worked for nearly 40 years in the research and development of fiberglass insulation, orthopedics, and pharmaceuticals. His specialty is solid-state analysis with a particular interest in microscopy. Robert retired from full-time employment in early 2016. He is now teaching microscopy and consulting on solid-state analysis in pharmaceutical development. Robert's education is in chemistry, with a Ph.D. from Lehigh University. He has taken numerous courses at McCrone Research Institute on microscopy from Skip Palenik and Walter McCrone. Robert worked for pharmaceutical companies Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (Aventis, Sanofi), Elan (Nanocrystal), and GlaxoSmithKline in microscopy and solid-state analysis for 24 years. He published a book on Pharmaceutical Microscopy in 2011 with Springer.

Michael Kostrna
Michael was the program director of the Electron Microscopy Technician program at Madison Area Technical College and has more than 35 years in EM technical education and research experience. He has been training EM students for 30 years and has developed curricula and lab exercises for TEM, SEM, OLM, lab safety, introductory and advanced biological EM, EM, maintenance, and x-Ray microanalysis. He has worked with companies such as SC Johnson Polymer, Dow Chemicals, Io Genetics, Virent Technologies, ABS Global, NanoOnocology, and Microscopy Innovations, and in the process gained insight to the various applications of EM.

Al Coritz
Al has been working in the Electron Microscopy field for 39 years, beginning at the Yale School of Medicine and ending up on the commercial side with several key EM companies. His specialty is Cryo-techniques and Thin Film Technology: i.e. Freeze Fracture/Rotary Shadowing, High Pressure Freezing, and more. He is currently with Electron Microscopy Sciences where he has been the Technical Director for over 20 years.

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