Microscopy and Microanalysis Unit
About the unit
The Microscopy & Microanalysis Unit (MMU) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, is a central university research and user facility, which conducts research using electron, light, and scanning probe microscopy techniques.
As a user facility, the MMU:
- provides advanced characterization instrumentation, expertise and training to researchers,
- serves and collaborates with scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand, other universities, government research agencies, and industrial laboratories, and
- plays a key role in educating and training undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students and researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand in many flavours of microscopy.
The MMU’s suite of advanced characterization instrumentation includes electron and light optical, as well as scanning probe microscopes, suitable for the solid-state sciences and the life sciences. The available instruments can determine the composition, structure and bonding of samples down to the atomic scale, allow performing tomographic reconstructions, and investigations of frozen-hydrated samples at cryogenic temperatures.
The MMU currently maintains 11 microscopes. Scientific support, technical know-how, expert advice and training for researchers using this facility is provided by resident scientific and technical staff. The MMU is directly supporting over 150 research projects at the university every year. In addition, the MMU conducts instrumentation development to enable conducting unique experiments.