Charles Oatley

The first commercial SEMAfter considerable negotiations, the commercial manufacture of scanning microscopes was eventually put in the hands of Gary Stewart, one of Oatley's students and the Cambridge Instrument Company, who marketed the first range of 'Stereoscans' in 1965. Much of the research and development work towards these was carried out in the Engineering Department.

Initial research had shown that the likely market for scanning electron microscopes was six, worldwide. By the end of the initial development phase, it had been demonstrated conclusively that this was one of the most flexible and powerful methods of microscopy ever devised. The number of scanning microscopes currently in use is around a hundred thousand. Charles Oatley, who became Professor of Electrical Engineering in 1960 following the retirement of Eric Moullin, received international acclaim for his pioneering work on electron microscopes. He was knighted in 1974.

For further details on Oatley see the CUED Exhibition.

Research on scanning electron microscopy continues, including the development of a virtual reality instrument.