TEM auxillaries

Auxillary equipment for the preparation of TEM samples

Leica EM HPM100

Highpressurefreezer_150pxThe Leica EM HPM100 is used to vitrify specimens up to 200 μm in thickness and 6 mm in diameter, with an extreme rapidity (more than 20 000 K per s) using high pressure (210 kPa = 2100 bar) and liquid nitrogen at - 197 degree Celcius. The cooling occurs so rapidly that water molecules do not have time to form damaging ice crystals: the fine structure of of the material is much better preserved than with slow freezing.

Brochure (pdf, 863 kB) of the Leica EM HPM100 high-pressure freezer

FEI Vitrobot

Vitroblot plungerThe Vitrobot (vitrification robot) is used to rapidly freeze small volumes of aqueous suspensions of particles/cells. The working flow consist of the following steps:

  • A small drop of material is placed on a grid inside the moist chamber
  • the excess of liquid is blotted under controlled relative humidity and pressure from the blotting paper
  • the grid is plunged at high velocity into the coolant (liquid ethane or propane)
  • the grid is transferred to a grid box in liquid nitrogen.

Instruction from the Grigorieff Lab .

Leica EM AFS Freeze-substitution device

Freeze-substitution unitWith this Leica EM AFS it is possible to apply freeze-substitution with a controlled raise or decrease in temperature (intuitive operation on the control panel). Following substitution one can automatically further proceed with the imbedding and polymerization of resins (under ultraviolet light with LED) at low temperature. A procedure of up to five days can be applied without the need to refill liquid nitrogen, thanks to the large volume of the Dewart tank. Samples can be kept between -140 and +70°C.

Download a brochure (in fact for the resembling AFS2 system).

Ultramicrotomes and glasscutter

Leica Ultracut UCT ultramicrotome

This ultramicrotome is an instrument commonly used to prepare conventional (not cryo) TEM ultrathin sections of resin-embedded specimens either with a glass or a diamond knife. Cryo-ultramicrotomeThe -ribbons of- sections are floating on the surface of the water as they are coming off the knife. They can be collected on formvar coated grids.

Leica cryo-ultramicrotome UC7 - FC7

The Leica EM UC7 is used for cutting of high-quality semi- and ultra-thin sections, and for the preparation of smooth surfaces required for LM, TEM, SEM, and AFM examination. The ultramicrotome is equipped with a Leica EM FC7 low temperature sectioning system.

Brochure (pdf, 1,3 MB) on the UC7- FC7 equipment

EM KMR2 glass cutter

Glass knifes can be made with the Leica EM KMR2 glass maker (brochure (pdf, 584 kB))

Cressington 208 carbon coater/glow discharge

Cressington glow discharge coaterThis Cressington 208 carbon coater is mainly used as discharger to make grids hydrophylic: download the procedure (pdf, 455 kB) for this purpose. One application of this instrument is for example the preparation of grids for viruses (department of Organic chemistry).

TEM: Balzers Baf 400 freeze-etching system

Baf400- freeze breakerThis freeze-etching device is used for investigating especially the surface of objects, such as cells or organelles, and to obtain additional information about membranous structures via freeze-etching and freeze-fracturing. It has been revised in recent years and works well.

Edwards 306 coater unitEdwards 306 coater

This unit was used to glow a metal (gold, platinum, palladium and others) or carbon coating on grids.

TEM: Liebherr Freezer with UV light

This freezer can be used for the polymerization of resins for TEM samples at low temperature and under Ultraviolet light irradiation.


Room HG01.246 for ultramicrotomes
Room HG01.216 for all other equipment


Online booking