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SECOM correlative microscopy

Ultrastructure in the Spotlight

The SECOM platform is a unique integrated solution for correlative light and electron microscopy that enables you to do correlative microscopy extremely fast with the highest optical quality and overlay accuracy. The combination of the labeling power of fluorescence imaging and the high resolution structural information of electron microscopy makes correlative microscopy the perfect tool to study the complex relation between form and function in biology.

The SECOM is the only product to date that integrates fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy in one device by equipping a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with an inverted fluorescence microscope (FM). The platform can be retrofitted on a SEM by replacing the door to the chamber of the SEM. This replacement supports a motorized stage and the objective and light path for the optical microscope. 

Thanks to its integrated design, switching from fluorescence to electron imaging is seamless and instantaneous. And with the automated alignment procedure, you are directly imaging the right location at a high resolution. The SECOM platform comes with an intuitive software package that is designed to easily acquire both types of information. The software package can also control the SECOM stage and the settings for the electron microscope.

The SECOM platform can easily be integrated in the existing workflow and acts as a fully equipped high-end optical microscope, without compromise on either optical or electron performance.

This system is being used worldwide for cancer research, marine biology, neuroscience, and cell biology. See our resource library for a list of publications for which the SECOM system was used.

SECOM Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy


An integrated CLEM system with a super-resolution optical microscope


Combining electron microscopy with super-resolution

DELMIC also produces an integrated CLEM system with a super-resolution optical microscope, the SECOM SR. This system possesses all the features of the SECOM system, but is equipped with an extremely powerful optical microscope for yet more detail down to the nanoscale to study the complex relation between form and function in biology.

Click here to learn more.

Schematic of the SECOM

Integrated CLEM

The ultimate correlative solution

The SECOM platform enables accurate and straightforward correlative light and electron microscopy. The integration of two imaging modalities in a single device eliminates the need to switch between the optical and electron microscope and allows for much faster imaging and a more sensible workflow. This enables you to accurately correlate two different types of information on the exact same cell, tissue or structure of interest.


To see more examples, visit our image gallery.

Focus on research

Automated overlay

Due to the automatic overlay feature of the SECOM platform, you can spend the time otherwise used manually overlaying electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy images on your research. The SECOM does not require the use of fiducials, and thus ensures more efficient measurements and a limited impact on your sample.

Example of Integrated CLEM on a thin section of HeLa cells. Example of Integrated CLEM on a thin section of HeLa cells.
High end optics of SECOM

Leading optical performance

High-quality components

Because only the highest quality optical components are used, the SECOM ensures the best optical performance of any integrated system. Multiband imaging is part of the standard configuration.

Immersion oil

At DELMIC we have developed a unique vacuum compatible immersion oil. This allows you to use high-numerical aperture objectives in the SECOM platform. Both water-immersion and oil-immersion objectives are supported.

Fully compatible

Use the full potential of your electron microscope

The SECOM is installed as a retrofit to an existing SEM by replacing the vacuum chamber door. The SECOM is fully compatible with all the standard detectors, allowing you to use the full potential of your electron microscope. Special features such as beam deceleration, in-lens detection and immersion mode are also supported. Like all DELMIC products, the SECOM is compatible with all major SEM manufacturers.

SECOM retrofitted to a SEM
The unique automated overlay procedure of the SECOM platform

Unrivalled overlay accuracy

Accurate, unbiased and user independent

With the unique automated overlay procedure of the SECOM platform, EM and FM images are always aligned perfectly. The unbiased automated overlay feature makes use of the unique patented cathodoluminescence marker technology which ensures highly credible and efficient life science research. The key to this procedure is the physical principle of cathodoluminescence. Light is generated at the position where the electron beam hits the glass. This light can be detected by the camera of the fluorescence microscope and acts as a temporary fiducial marker.


Odemis software

The modular approach in combination with the open-source acquisition software ODEMIS ensures a user-friendly solution that can serve a broad user base and delivers a system that is a truly unique and versatile research instrument.


Powerful software tools that improve your imaging workflow include auto-focus, export functionality and a history trail that records your previous stage coordinates. For advanced users, a scripting interface in Python gives you full control of the hardware and the imaging algorithms.

ODEMIS software of the SECOM

SECOM sample stage

Take control

Motorized precision stage

The motorized closed-loop sample stage allows the user to easily and accurately navigate the sample on the nanoscale. The SECOM sample stage is equipped with precision piezoelectric stepping motors and optical linear encoders, enabling fully automated acquisition procedures.

Great flexibility

Modular design

The open-source software and modular nature of the SECOM offers full experimental freedom and guarantees a future proof setup that is easy to upgrade.

Modular design of the SECOM

Technical notes

Automated overlay technical note for correlative light and electron microscopy
Automated overlay


Application notes

White paper

Sample Preparation for Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy

One of the challenges associated with integrated CLEM is the preparation of samples suitable for both FM and EM. However, with the right methods one can easily prepare samples in such a way as to be able to benefit fully from correlative microscopy. If you would like to know more about the process of sample preparation for CLEM, you can download our white paper here.



SECOM correlative light and electron microscope brochure

If you are interested in the brochure with the exact specifications, you can download it here.

For questions about the SECOM, feel free to contact Daan van Oosten Slingeland at

Upcoming project

flag_yellow_lowCurrently, Delmic is working on a new project based on the SECOM system, which is going to open up new horizons in structural biology research. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 836841.

Stay tuned for more information!