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Transmission Electron Microscopy

The Electron Microscopy Facility is a joint BSD/PSD resource available to all campus researchers. Users have access to an FEI Tecnai F30 scanning/transmission electron microscope. The microscope has a point-to-point resolution of 0.2 nm when operated in the TEM mode and a spatial resolution of 0.2 nm for the STEM mode.The facility is located in the sub-basement of the Gordon Center for Integrative Science, right next to the MRSEC shared facilities. This forms a synergistic cluster with the SEM and SPM instrumentation maintained by MRSEC’s Materials Prep Lab. The Electron Microscopy facility provides sample preparation, imaging, consultation, and training services for transmission electron microscopy.

Physical Science services include: phase-contrast TEM imaging which provides information on materials structures at atomic resolution; diffraction contrast imaging which is used for morphology and defect investigation; STEM Z-contrast imaging which presents information not only on crystal structure but also on chemical composition at atomic resolution; electron diffraction that can be used for crystal structure and orientation investigation; elemental analysis using X-ray energy-dispersive spectrometry; and tomography for 3D structure determination. This TEM is used extensively for imaging of polymer and nanocrystal samples (IRG 2).

 Biological Science services include: Classic chemical fixation and cryopreservation; tissue embedding; sectioning; negative staining; immunocytochemistry, and imaging.  Also, available is 3-D electron tomography of samples, which allows accurate three-dimensional reconstruction of biological samples at 5 – 7 nm resolution. This method is proving to be indispensable for understanding how molecular structures are linked to cellular architecture and function. An added benefit will be the capacity to perform correlated fluorescence and 3D electron microscopy. Correlative microscopy is an emerging technique that utilizes the complementary visual techniques of light microscopy, the ability to localize macromolecular structures of interest, and electron microscopy, which provides high-resolution cellular context. The combination of both LM/EM would allow researches to capture populations of cells, identify cellular features or fluorescently labeled proteins of interest, and then capture high-resolution (3-7 nm) three-dimensional cellular volume reconstructions of pre-identified cellular regions, with high sensitivity and spatial precision