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Sample Preparation Equipment

Specimens of interest to researchers are sometimes incompatible with the strict sample requirements of an electron microscope and may require several preparation steps before their intimate structure can be observed and resolved. They may be outgassing when placed in the vacuum of the EM, or be charging up under the electron beam and cause image artifacts or they might be simply too big or too thick to fit in the EM chamber. We offer a portfolio of different products to address these issues. Some of these products are multi-functional and may appear in more than one category.

Automated sample processing
Coating
Critical Point Drying and Freeze Drying
Cryo-fixation and manipulation
Glow discharge and Plasma cleaning
Ion Milling
Mechanical Polishing, Sectioning and Cutting
Ultramicrotomy

Automated sample processing
When a high throughput of sample preparation is required in a lab, automation of sample preparation is very important. Not only in terms of high volume of samples prepared, but also for reproducibility and reliability of the preparation methods.


Coating
Metal coating or carbon evaporation is often an unavoidable step before visualizing your specimen in a SEM or TEM. We selected a variety of products from leader manufacturers capable to fit all your needs.

Critical Point Drying and Freeze Drying
Hydrated samples cannot be placed directly under vacuum and have to be fixed or dried gently in order to preserve their structure. Critical point drying or freeze drying are two methods that can be used for many biological specimens (see also here). Our equipment represent the perfect choice for preparing and stabilizing your samples.


Cryofixation and manipulation
Hydrated samples cannot be placed directly under vacuum and have to be fixed or dried gently in order to preserve their structure. Plunge freezing or high pressure freezing are two methods that can be used for many biological specimens (see also here). Compared to drying method, this technique preserves the specimens in a state much closer to the native state. The disadvantage is that samples have to be kept at cryogenic temperatures for the duration of the analysis.


Glow discharge and Plasma cleaning
Glow discharge from a plasma can be used to modify surfaces, for example to enhance polymer bonding, or on TEM support films and grids to render them hydrophilic and facilitate wetting. Different types of surface modifications can be brought about with different gas mixtures or chemicals used for the creation of the plasma. A plasma of the appropriate composition and energy can be used to gently remove contamination from your samples or to selectively etch layers or to reduce organic material to ashes.


Ion Milling
Argon milling is a very effective polishing method used to thin a TEM sample to electron transparency or to remove/avoid mechanical damage on the surface of SEM samples, which is essential for EBSD.


Mechanical Polishing, Sectioning and Cutting
Products for preparing surfaces by mechanical polishing or for extracting samples from bulk materials.


Ultramicrotomy
Selection of cutting edge technologies and equipment for preparing specimens before examination on electron microscopes. Our portfolio includes a full range of products from microtomes and cryo-fracture equipment.

  • RMC PowerTomes with Power Driven cutting stroke and optional PC and video control
  • RMC CR-X cryosectioning system, compatible with most ultramicrotomes
  • RMC LN Ultra cryosectioning system
  • ATUMtome Automated tape collecting system for ultramicrotomes
  • ASH-100 Advanced Substrate Holder for collection of serial sections (array tomography and correlative workflow)
  • RMC MT-990 and MR3 rotary microtomes, with CRT-900 Cryo Accessory, versions for AFM and manual model MR2
  • GKM-2 Glass Knife Maker, an indispensable tool to achieve consistent, controlled breaks for knife production