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Centre for High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy

A facility for advanced electron microscopy offering a full range of state-of-the-art
instruments and expertise for materials characterisation and research.


Services offered

The core services provided by the Centre include:

  • Consultancy: The CHRTEM provides consultancy and microscopy services to industry, R&D institutions and academic institutions. This includes analysis of materials used for energy generation.

  • Postgraduate and postdoctoral support and training: Postgraduate and postdoctoral positions are available at the CHRTEM. The Centre also provides advanced microscopy support and training to external postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines.

  • Operator training: The Centre provides microscope operator training using CHRTEM facilities or at electron microscope facilities across the country.



The CHRTEM houses four state-of-the-art electron microscopes including the only double aberration (Cs) corrected transmission electron microscope (TEM) on the African continent. Other instruments include a fully analytical TEM, a focused ion beam scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM), an analytical high resolution SEM, a nano-indentor and an atomic force microscope (AFM). The Centre also houses the enabling infrastructure for sample preparation and data processing.

Visit our website for more information on available characterisation techniques and microscope specifications:


JEOL ARM200F double Cs corrected TEM

JEOL 2100 LaB6 TEM


Helios NanoLab 650 FIB-SEM


Focus areas

Research at the CHRTEM focuses largely on energy materials with specialisations in nuclear materials, catalysts and power plant steels. Nuclear energy related topics and materials characterised include:

  • Characterisation of TRISO coated particles for high temperature reactors
  • Neutron irradiation damage in silicon carbide
  • Swift heavy ion impact in Oxide Dispersion Strengthened steel and ZrN
  • Accident tolerant coatings on zircaloy fuel tubes
  • Transport of metallic fission products in TRISO coated particles
  • Stress corrosion cracking of steel in nuclear and coal power plants
  • Refining weldability limits of creep-aged power plant stainless steel
  • Collaboration with eNtsa (NMMU Mechanical Engineering) who developed the WeldCore® process ( for lifetime assessment of high value, high temperature and pressure components

Notable collaborators include Eskom, Sasol, Hulamin, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia, and the Idaho National Laboratory in the United States. For more information on publications, research areas, and collaborators visit our website:


Access and pricing

All applications for analytical work must be submitted on-line. See our website for more information and for the latest pricing table:



The CHRTEM is funded by the NRF, the DST and NMMU.