Nuclear Engineering Division

Intermediate Voltage Electron Microscopy (IVEM)-Tandem Facility

The IVEM-Tandem Facility is a partner facility of the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE). It is a dual-ion beam facility for in situ TEM studies of defect structures in materials under controlled ion irradiation/implantation and sample conditions.


The IVEM-Tandem facility is unique in its ability to image the changes in atomic structure and defect formation during irradiation at high magnification. The IVEM's important advantages include:

  • Real Time observation of defect formation and evolution during irradiation.
  • Well-controlled experimental conditions (constant specimen orientation and area, specimen temperature, ion type, ion energy, dose rate, dose, and applied strain).
  • Refine and validate computer model simulations of irradiation defect states.
  • High-dose ion damage is produced in hours, rather than the years such damage would require in a nuclear reactor, supporting studies of material response to high doses of particle (ion and neutron) irradiation.
  • In situ ion irradiation does not produce any radioactivity in samples.

IVEM Tandem Facility at Argonne National Laboratory

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The IVEM Tandem Facility at Argonne National Laboratory is part transmission electron microscope—part ion beam accelerators. It’s also one of about a dozen instruments in the world that lets researchers look at material changes caused by ion irradiation as it happens.


Last Modified: Mon, November 5, 2018 4:41 PM

Interested in Availability?

IVEM-Tandem Calendar

Check the IVEM-Tandem Calendar for availability, and read instructions on how to submit a proposal.


This Instrument Can Simulate a Year's Worth of Reactor Damage in Days Department of Energy blog post.

Scientific Playgrounds Accelerating Clean Energy Research Department of Energy user facilities, such as Argonne's Intermediate Voltage Electron Microscopy (IVEM)-Tandem Facility, provide extraordinary resources integral to many Energy Frontier Research Center scientific breakthroughs…Read full story »

Useful Resources

Workshop on Transmission Electron Microscopy Characterization of Irradiation Induced Defects, Argonne National Laboratory, Sept. 3-5, 2014.

Contact Us

  • Questions about IVEM-Tandem?
    Email us at or call us at 1-630-252-5222 or 1-630-252-5111.