Instrumentation & Services









Housed in the basement of the Department of Geological Sciences (Room 1, Geology Building), MizzoµX is part of the suite of 11 University of Missouri Core Facilities supported by the Office of Research, Graduate Studies and Economic Development. MizzoµX is directed by Dr. Schiffbauer, with Dr. Selly serving as a full-time research scientist and facility manager. We specialize in the analysis of geological materials, but can accommodate a wide range of sample types with our instrumentation.
This service laboratory is a Zeiss microscopy facility with two primary instruments available to researchers:
Image of Zeiss Sigma 500 VP scanning electron microscope

Our customized Zeiss Sigma 500 VP scanning electron microscope (SEM) is built on a large chamber platform and equipped with the Gemini field-emission column with extended voltage available, yielding excellent count rates for spectrometry and spatial resolution to ~0.7 nm. The chamber is a dry variable pressure system, using a nitrogen gas atmosphere for low-vacuum analyses, and is equipped with a cascade current secondary electron detector for outstanding low-vacuum imaging quality. We additionally have a standard Everhart-Thornley detector, a high-definition 5-segment backscatter detector, and a dual in-lens detector, for a full range of imaging capabilities. For compositional analyses, our Sigma houses dual, co-planar (diametrically opposite), Bruker energy dispersive x-ray spectrometers and an integrated Bruker microspot x-ray fluorescence unit (µXRF). Finally, our system is also equipped with the ATLAS control module and a 5-axis Cartesian stage to allow for large sample automated imaging. For additional electron microscopy available on MU’s Columbia campus, please also visit the Electron Microscopy Core website.

Image of Zeiss Xradia 510 Versa 3D x-ray microscope

Our Zeiss Xradia 510 Versa 3D x-ray microscope (XRM or µCT) is the only available µCT on MU’s Columbia campus. The Xradia 510 Versa µCT is the industry’s premier in-situ solution for non-destructive 3D imaging, allowing for unique characterization of the microstructure of materials for a diverse array of applications and sample types. The Xradia 510 Versa can achieve between 0.7–55 μm true spatial resolution with minimum achievable voxel size below 70 nm. This µCT has increased versatility for soft or low-Z materials with advanced absorption contrast along with innovative phase contrast to overcome the limitations of traditional computed tomography.

Available at additional cost, we can provide other sample preparation services, including: metal deposition sputter coating with our Cressington 108auto/SE sputter coater equipped with a MTM-10 thickness monitor; sample cutting, polishing, and epoxy embedding with our fully equipped preparation laboratory; and a dual GPU Dell Precision workstation for 3D rendering and segmentation with ThermoFisher’s Avizo software.


We are happy to discuss any analytical needs you may have. Feel free to contact us through our Service Request form, or you may directly email Please take note of our protocols for any sample submission.


Logo for National Science Foundation

The MizzoµX facility was made possible by grant support from the National Science Foundation Division of Earth Sciences Instrumentation and Facilities (grant# 1636643 to Dr. James D. Schiffbauer); the MU Office of Research, Graduate Studies and Economic Development; the MU System Research Board, and several MU units/departments.