We house a large number of microscopes for transmission and stereomicroscopy, petrographic analysis and photography.

They’re available to postgraduate students and staff within our School to use primarily for undergraduate teaching and research.

Take a virtual tour

To get a 360-degree view of our extensive range of microscopes and instruments, take a virtual tour.

To start the tour:

  1. click on the link below
  2. follow the instructions in the pop-up window
  3. select the Microscope Room from the Tour Index menu.

Take a virtual tour

Note: you’ll need to partially download high-resolution images that contain large amounts of data (up to 150MB in total). Users with accessibility issues may have difficulty with this tour.

Locations and bookings

In Room 210A of the Richards Building (Building 5) you’ll find:

  • the Olympus BX60 microscope
  • the Nikon Eclipse E400 POL microscope
  • the Leica DM6000M automated microscope.

In Room 229 of the Steele Building (Building 3) you’ll find:

  • the Hitachi TM3030 Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Jeol Neoscope (SEM)
  • Leica DM750, 1000 and 2500 research microscopes
  • class sets of:
    • Leica EZ4HD (stereo) microscopes
    • Leica DM500 (transmission) microscopes
    • Nikon E22 (polarising) microscopes
    • Nikon SM2445 (stereo) microscopes.

Make a booking

New users must email our Tech Team at senv.equipment@uq.edu.au to arrange an induction/training before equipment can be used. 

View availability and book our equipment using our online calendar:

For more details about each piece of equipment, see the table below, or email our Tech Team at senv.equipment@uq.edu.au.


A researcher uses the Hitachi TM3030 Scanning Electron MicroscopyHitachi TM3030 Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

  • For producing images at high magnification by scanning a sample with a focused beam of electrons.
  • Allows you to view large, uncoated samples quickly and easily.
  • Fitted with a Bruker energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS), which can provide rapid qualitative elemental analysis of the sample.

Imaging stationOlympus BX60 microscope and Linkham Scientific Instruments THMSG600 temperature-controlled geology stage

  • This imaging station enables you to characterise fluid inclusions in mineral grains to 0.1°C and hold a stability of 0.001°C.
  • The system is computer controlled using Linksys 32 software.

Optical cathodoluminescence stationNikon Eclipse E400 POL microscope and ELM-3R Luminoscope

  • This optical cathodoluminescence station is designed to study the luminescence characteristics of polished thin sections.

Leica DM6000M automated microscopeLeica DM6000M automated microscope

  • This computer-operated microscope is capable of scanning an entire thin-section to produce a high-definition image using LAS V4.6 software.


We regularly invest in new safety equipment to ensure that our standards are kept high and research remains at the forefront.

We hire or lend most pieces of equipment, and can provide information about applications and operation, and training for our more complex items.

Email our Tech Team at senv.equipment@uq.edu.au to discuss your requirements or to request to hire or use equipment.

Our safety equipment includes:

  • class sets of reflective vests and safety hats
  • first-aid kits
  • EPIRBs and PLBs (personal locator beacons)
  • extended-range mobile and satellite phones.

Equipment sharing

Some items housed within our School are owned by individual researchers or project teams. 

If you’re interested in a particular piece of equipment that is privately owned, contact the equipment owner to discuss opportunities for borrowing, knowledge sharing and collaboration.

School of the Environment vehicles are available for School teaching and research activities.

School staff and students can find more information on the School Intranet.