About Us

element Pi, LLC is the North American distributor for COXEM Co. Ltd. of  South Korea. We currently distribute the COXEM Series of Tabletop and Full-Size SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopes). We are proud to offer these exceptional products that have a superior price-to-performance ratio compared to other SEM systems on the market.  We are confident that after making an in-depth comparison, you will come to the same conclusion.

So why Pi you might wonder?  Pi is the most recognized mathematical constant and often considered the most intriguing and important number in all of mathematics.  So in the spirit of Pi, we offer products that will continue to intrigue you as new developments are reached and our goal is to make our products become an important asset to your research.  However, while Pi is an irrational number like its cousins “e” and “√2” that like to go on forever, we will offer nothing but rational explanations and advice when it comes to selecting the best product solution.  Through your use of our products, we promise that “Pi” will equate to “Precision Imaging” that you can count on.

Please have a look at more of the Pi FACTS info below.

Lake Tahoe – Crystal Bay – yes, the water is usually this clear

We have sales offices and demonstration facilities in the north Lake Tahoe, California area and soon in the Denver area. If you’re traveling to see a demonstration of an SEM, there isn’t a much nicer or more beautiful place than the north Lake Tahoe area where we are located.  We routinely demonstrate the SEM systems via internet web/video conference. The HD video makes it almost like being in front of the microscope and is very efficient for all involved.

Maybe you will want to plan your visit combined with a weekend or take a few days vacation and make your visit a working vacation.  You know you deserve it. There is so much to see and do in the Lake Tahoe region:

  • 8 snow ski areas within 30 minutes drive of our office (yes, on bluebird powder days we might be away from the office).
  • Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake offer an amazing variety of activities during the warm months and picturesque in the winter.
  • Some of the best Rock Climbing to be found anywhere, especially along Old 40 at Donner Pass. Yosemite is 4 hours away if El Capitan is more to your liking.
  • Hiking trails everywhere you look and the famous PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) comes right by town at Donner Pass.
  • Like to gamble? Reno is where most folks fly into and its like a mini-Las Vegas without the glitz and expense.  Try the Peppermill, Atlantis, GSR or drive to South Lake Tahoe for the state-line experience and take in some great entertainment.
  • Bring your clubs as there are 5 very nice golf courses right here around town and more down the road.
  • See 150 year old remnants of the first transcontinental railroad where it passed over Donner Pass and be amazed at the difficult hand dug tunnels, stone walls and elevated track still here (but no longer used).
  • Ride the Amtrak train to get here and depart in downtown Truckee at the vintage 1800’s train station.
  • Visit the Emigrant Trail Museum to learn about the Donner party in 1847 and the gruesome tales about what happened to them
  • Like airplanes? The only air race of high performance planes in the USA happens every September north of Reno – http://airrace.org

Check out the North Lake Tahoe website for the long list of activities possible here.

On a more serious note though, it would be our pleasure to host you for a visit to evaluate our remarkable microscopes.   We are often asked to conduct demonstrations at customers labs.  While this is feasible to a degree, it is quite expensive and time consuming.  When this style SEM only had 30,000X magnification capability, it was much more practical.  Now with resolutions approaching those of full-size systems, it is not practical to show that in a short 1 hour on-site demonstration.  Even at Exhibitions, pushing the limits of a microscope isn’t practical in such a loud and vibration prone surrounding.  Be very suspicious of anyone telling you otherwise.  If that is still your requirement, please let us know your justification and we will happily work something out to satisfy your evaluation requirements.

Check out the “Getting Here” tab to see how to find us and recommended airports and hotels to make planning your trip as easy as possible.  We are also happy to provide you with our “local” knowledge if you want to plan a vacation or want our perspective about any activities in the area.

Here are a few videos to help encourage you to pay us a visit:

Our tiny little town of Truckee (shot with a tilt shift lens):


Truckee, CA is a scenic 30-45 minute interstate highway drive west of the Reno, NV airport (RNO) near the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Flights into RNO are usually very affordable compared to other destinations.

We are also about 90 minutes from the Sacramento, CA airport (SMF) which is a larger airport with more choices.

Our office is located near the Truckee airport (TRK).  No commercial flights but if your company has a corporate plane then that is a great way to get here.  There are also some services that offer limited flights on small corporate size planes that you should investigate if you have business in the cities they service.


The most convenient hotels are these below, very close to our office and the Truckee airport.  If you feel up to it, there is also the Ritz Carlton slopeside at the Northstar Ski Resort just 15 minutes away.

We currently have 5 representatives strategically located to support customers as shown on the map below.  We have open territories for the Gulf (Texas) and Eastern Canada.  Please Contact Us and we will connect you with your local representative as necessary.

[pronounced “KO – SIM”]

As a result of technology licensing from a 10 year project that began in 1996 at the KRISS (Korean Research Institute for Standards and Science), COXEM Co., Ltd. was established in 2007 in Daejeon, Korea to offer Scanning Electron Microscopes.  Since then, COXEM has focused specifically on electron microscopy and has delivered approximately 500 SEM systems, mostly in Asia and Europe.  By partnering with element Pi, the COXEM SEM products have now been brought to North America in a more focused effort.

COXEM’s flagship products are currently the EM-30 Plus Tabletop SEM and CX-200TA SEM.  Coxem has numerous exciting new products on the horizon including a new economical Cross Section Ion Beam Polisher for sample preparation and a novel STEM detector capable of use in the tabletop EM-30 series.  The STEM detector will provide both bright and dark field imaging capabilities for up to 4 TEM grids using the 1 to 30kV beam energy available on the EM-30 or CX-200 series.  This STEM detector promises to deliver industry and academia an economical solution for basic TEM analysis of nano-particles, semiconductors and some tissue specimens. In addition, further integration work with EDS manufacturers is ongoing to allow more advanced automated micro-analysis capabilities.  Other ongoing developments include several new SEM solutions to complement exisiting products that will be released over the next 2 years.  These new SEMs promise to revolutionize the capabilities of entry to mid-level SEM analysis at affordable costs.

Please enjoy the video below to learn what drives COXEM to offer some of the best products available in electron microscopy:

Be watching for details about our annual Pi day special on March 14.

  • Have you noticed our toll free phone number?  It is Pi rounded to 6 decimal places – 833-3141593
  • In the first million decimal places of Pi, there are 100,000 occurrences (±500) of each number digit (0-9) showing just what a random and special number it is.
  • The first 144 digits of Pi sum to “666”.
  • In the 1967 Star Trek episode “Wolf in the Fold”, Spock defeats the evil computer by commanding it to compute the last digit of Pi.
  • Albert Einstein was born on Pi day – March 14, 1879.
  • The ancient Babylonians knew of Pi‘s existence nearly 4,000 years ago. A Babylonian tablet from between 1900 B.C. and 1680 B.C. calculates Pi as 3.125
  • Pi or 314 written in block letters has a mirror image of PIE
  • A Givenchy men’s cologne named Pi is marketed as highlighting the sexual appeal of intelligent and visionary men.  OK, whatever…

  • During the O.J. Simpson trial, there were arguments between defense attorney Robert Blasier and an FBI agent about the actual value of Pi, seemingly to reveal flaws in the FBI agent’s intellectual acumen.
  • The record for the most digits of Pi memorized belongs to Rajveer Meena of Vellore, India, who recited 70,000 decimal places of Pi on March 21, 2015, according to Guinness World Records.   What a waste of brain cells, right?
  • Considered the “most beautiful equation in math” (is that really possible?) is a formula involving Pi and several other unique numbers such as “e” (Euler’s number), “i” the imaginary constant of the square root of -1.  The formula is known as Euler’s Identity which is .
  • The first six digits of Pi (314159) appear in order six times among the first ten million decimals of Pi.
  • Pi Music set to the tune of several popular songs like American Pie, Jenny (867-5309) and from the Nutcracker ballet:



  • And lastly for our favorite type of PIE – the VOLUME of that favorite Italian Pi dish so popular in New York and Chicago: