CMEM EM Instrumentation Overview

(S)TEM

FEI Titan

CMEM operates two FEI microscopes suitable for RT and cryogenic (S)TEM imaging, diffraction, tomography and elemental analysis. The standard user interface is extended with in-house developed scripts for automated large-area imaging in TEM and STEM mode.

SEM

CMEM operates two FEI microscopes suitable for (environmental) SE and BSE imaging, elemental analysis, focused ion beam (FIB) deposition, ablation and tomography. In addition, sample micromanipulators for TEM lift-out (Omniprobe) and general purpose (Kleindiek) are available.

Sample preparation

CMEM has specialized equipment for handling liquid samples (FEI Vitrobot + glove box, Gatan cryo-TEM holders, DENSsolutions liquid-cell holder), multiscale materials (Leica cryo-ultramicrotomes, embedding, staining), and environmentally sensitive samples (Gatan gas transfer and heating holder). now in group Hensen

Computing

CMEM has dedicated resources for 2D image processing including stitching, segmentation, quantification (Matlab), tomography alignment and 3D reconstruction (Inspect3D, IMOD, Matlab), 3D visualization and quantification (Avizo, Matlab), and 3D screens and 3D printers.

Sample preparation

Preparation Lab

Liquid samples are prepared either via time-resolved vitrification by plunge freezing (Cryo-TEM) or via use of a liquid-cell TEM sample holder (LP-TEM).

For Cryo-TEM we have available:

  • Vitrification robot (FEI Vitrobot™ Mark III) for the vitrification of aqueous samples.
  • Vitrification robot (FEI Vitrobot™ Mark III) modified with a glove box for specialized sample preparation in a controlled gas/solvent atmosphere, and if necessary, equipped with a humidifier for organic solvents.
  • 2x single tilt Cryo holder and Transfer Systems (Gatan, model?).
  • carbon coater (Cressington 206Carbon) with glow discharge unit for making Cryo-TEM grids hydrophilic prior to sample deposition in Vitrobot.
  • The TU/e Cryo-Titan is equipped with an autoloader containing 12 (cryo) samples and does not require a Cryo-TEM sample holder.

For LP-TEM we have available

  • liquid-cell holder (DENSsolutions) facilitating flow experiments and with exchangeable tips for easy cleaning and increased adaptability.
  • Preparation lab with dust poor area, e.g. for liquid-cell holder assembly and testing.

 

Multiscale materials are prepared either by isolation from the bulk using ultramicrotomy or by deposition on sample supports by, e.g., direct spin coating, direct filtration, drop casting from non-solvents, etc. .

  • (Cryo) ultramicrotomes (Leica and Reichert-Jung) for sectioning of (embedded) bulk samples for TEM (20 nm – 2000 nm), SEM (cross-section) and AFM (cross-section).
  • Spin coater and special glass plates that have recesses for TEM grids to mount the TEM support grids flush with the top-surface of the glass plate.
  • Ultrasonic disk cutter and dimpler
  • Plasma cleaner and ultrasonic baths
  • Single tilt and double tilt holder (FEI)
  • EDX single tilt holder ()
  • Tomography holders (Fischione, FEI)

 

Environmentally sensitive samples can be transported from a glovebox to the TEM in a controlled gas atmosphere using a gas transfer and ex-situ heating holder (Gatan).

 

Computing resources

CMEM has dedicated resources for data analysis, including:

6 HP Workstations (4-12 core Xeon processors, 24-192 GB of RAM) for

  • general image processing including stitching, segmentation, quantification (Matlab)
  • tomography alignment and 3D reconstruction (Inspect3D, IMOD, Matlab)
  • tomogram denoising and 3D quantification (IMOD, Matlab, Avizo Fire)
  • 2D/3D visualization (Avizo, Matlab)

Three 3D screens (Philips, LG) and two 3D printers (Ultimaker 2) and raid redundant data storage facilities with a capacity of >30Tb.

Preparation Lab