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The BioCryo Facility of EPIC provides researchers with access to cryo electron microscopy and to an array of electron-probe based imaging and microanalytical methods. Techniques include SE-, TE-, and Z-contrast imaging, electron diffraction, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS). We offer expertise and support for planning and conducting cryo and conventional electron microscopy studies on biological samples (e.g. suspensions of molecules and particles, cells and tissues), as well as on nanoparticles, polymers, hydrogels, and other materials. Researchers can be trained to become independent users of our instrumentation and techniques. Just recently we extended our capabilities with cryo SEM, and freeze-fracturing/etching.

The EPIC facility houses three advanced transmission electron microscopes, along with a complete array of specimen preparation tools.

TEM & SEM Introductory Videos available in the NUANCE "Education and Outreach" section.

Hitachi HD-2300A Dual EDS Cryo S/TEM

  • High brightness FEG operated at 80, 120 and 200 kV

  • Ultra-sensitive dual-EDS capability, compatible with cryogenic specimen holder and low kV (80,120) operation

  • Gatan Enfina EELS system

  • Secondary electron detector for SE imaging

  • Multiple STEM imaging modalities (BF, ADF, HAADF) down to ~ 0.23 nm

  • Gatan Cryo-TEM holder and transfer system

  • Low-dose operation mode

  • Gatan diffraction CCD for nano-diffraction and diffractive imaging

  • Hitachi full-space tilting holder for electron tomography

  • Hitachi HD-2300A Manual

Hitachi HT-7700 Biological S/TEM

  • Resolution 0.20nm lattice

  • 40 to 120kV at 100V increments

  • Magnification of 50-1000x, with 200x - 600,000x zoom

  • Image rotation +/- 90˚ in 15˚ steps

  • STEM unit at 1 nm resolution

  • Bruker EDS system for elementary analysis

  • Hitachi HT7700 Manual

Hitachi S4800-II cFEG SEM

  • 1.4nm resolution at 1kV with beam decelerationSEM S-4800

  • 1.0nm resolution at 15kV

  • Super ExB filter allows low kV, high res, BSE imaging and energy filtering

  • Large 5axis computer eucentric stage (110mm x 110mm)

  • Infrared chamberscope and 6 specimen exchange airlock

  • Oxford INCA EDS System

  • Leica cryo stage with VCT100 transfer system and suite of cryogenic preparation equipment

  • Hitachi S4800-II cFEG SEM Manual

High Pressure Freezer HPM100 (Leica)

  • high pressure freezer

    High vitrification quality through controlled environmentHigh pressure freezing is the method of choice for preparation of pristine cryofixed samples. This impedes artifacts that can be induced by chemical fixation, dehydration, or drying of samples. The formation and growth of ice crystals is suppressed by applying 2100 bar high pressure to the sample, immediately followed by cryo immobilization. Samples can be vitrified up to a thickness of 200 μm. Once the sample is high pressure frozen, it can be processed for cryoSEM, cryoTEM, freeze substitution, and for other applications.

vitrobot FEI Vitrobot Plunge Freezer

  • High sample throughput

  • Easy and flexible instrument control

  • Maintain relative humidity at 100%

  • Ultrasonic controlled humidification

  • Vitrobot Manual

Leica UC7/FC7 Cryo-Ultramicrotome

LeicaThe Leica UC7/FC7 is a state-of-the art Cryo-Ultramicrotome capable of sectioning samples at ambient temperature down to temperatures as low as -180 C. The FC7 cryo attachment is equipped with an anti-static device and a micromanipulator to assist the user to transfer delicate cryogenic thin sections to the EM grid.  The Instrument is operated with touch screen controller that can be programmed with user- and sample specific settings. We use diamond knives, or glass knives fabricated with our Leica KM3 Knife Maker, for sectioning. Taken together, the UC7/FC7 is an easy to operate, extremely versatile piece of equipment:

  • Sectioning at liquid nitrogen temperatures through cryo-fixed and vitreously frozen biological specimens or soft samples, such as polymers, for imaging with cryo EM and for elemental analysis

  • Also suitable for sectioning at ambient temperature

  • The thickness of sections can be adjusted from a few nanometers to up to several micrometers

  • Superior optics assist in challenging ultramicrotomy techniques such as serial sectioning or en face sectioning of cell monolayers

  • Leica UC7/FC7 Cryo-Ultramicrotome Manual


Leica EM ACE600 High Vacuum Coater 

Leica ACE

The ideal solution for contamination-free cryo SEM sample preparation. The Leica EM ACE600 is the perfect versatile high vacuum film deposition system designed to produce very thin, fine-grained and conductive metal and carbon coatings for highest resolution analysis, as required for your Cryo SEM and Cryo S/TEM applications:

  • Freeze-fracture and sublimation of H2O at controlled temperatures

  • Coating of frozen samples at high vacuum with e-beam metal/carbon (Pt/C) evaporation, and with carbon evaporation

Related topics:  SPF Facility