Commission Science Images to Suit Your Requirements

If our science photo library doesn’t contain what you’re looking for, you may wish to commission an scanning electron micrograph that’s specifically suited to your requirements. Our prices vary depending on the nature of your commission, but we can give you a rough idea of what your science image(s) will cost:

Processing a supplied sample - £50 per hour
This would typically include cleaning the sample in organic solvents and/or ultrasonic cleaning, as well as fixing, dehydrating using alcohol and acetone series, critical point drying, mounting on a stub, gold or palladium sputter coating, and getting the sample ready for imaging on SEM. 1-6 samples of the same material typically takes 7 hours. Various and differing techniques would be used depending on the sample.

Setting up and imaging on the SEM ‐ £65 per hour
This typically takes around 1 hour for 1 sample; further samples take 30 minutes each. The SEM takes 6 samples, so one full complement of 6 samples would take around 3.5 hours. More than 6 samples would mean setting up the SEM again, so the first of the next set would again take 1 hour. So, if you wanted 3 samples imaged, this would be 2 hours use of the SEM @ £65 per hour.

All images are sized and processed at no extra charge, unless the customer requires false colour. SEM images are produced in black and white by default, but some customers prefer their images to be coloured; the cost of this depends on the complexity of the image. A typical image would take a colourist between 1 and 8 hours, and is charged at £50 an hour. See sample images below for an idea of the results that our colourists can achieve.

If you wanted one sample prepared and imaged on the SEM, it would cost 7 x £50 for the preparation and £65 for the imaging. If you wanted 3 samples (of the same material) it would cost 7 x £50 for the preparation and £130 for the imaging. Colouring would cost an extra £50 per hour per image.

The customer pays for the preparation of the sample and the usage of the SEM and colouring if required. It is common for the technician to take a number of micrographs of a single sample which could have various suitable areas to image, in which case the customer will be given all the images taken of that one sample. The customer can then decide if any of the images would benefit from colourisation.

The above is merely an example, and we can adjust costs according to the type of sample since some are easier to handle than others. Generally, soft biological samples are more difficult to prepare and need special handling techniques. We hope this gives you an indication of what is involved and the likely costs.

Please feel free to contact us if you need any more information.

Examples of SEM Photography & Colouring

The following images should give you an idea of typical colouring costs. We have also included an example of an uncoloured image straight from the SEM.