To enable and improve the imaging of samples in the electron microscope they need to be conductive. A range of coating techniques can be applied, depending on the sample and its preparation for analysis.
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Coating by creating a conductive layer of metal on the sample inhibits charging, reduces thermal damage and improves the secondary electron signal required for topographic examination in the SEM. Leica Microsystems’ coater line comprises the Leica EM ACE600 high vacuum coater for highest resolution analysis in FE-SEM and TEM and the Leica EM ACE200 sputter and/or carbon thread coater as a fully automated system for fast, convenient and intuitive handling.
Freeze etching can be carried out after fracturing and provides more information from the fractured faces by subliming superficial ice layers under vacuum to expose cellular elements that were originally hidden. As a highly versatile instrument the Leica EM ACE900 cryo coater offers best results for freeze fracture and freeze etching techniques for TEM, and cryo SEM analysis.
To reveal internal structures of a frozen specimen, it can be physically broken apart to expose internal structures for examination with an electron microscope. The Leica EM ACE900 cryo coater brings the freeze fracturing technique to a new level, featuring an advanced microtome, flexible shadowing options with electron beam sources, a rotating cryo stage and a load-lock transfer system. High resolution analysis of replicas in the TEM and, equipped with the Leica EM VCT500, block face imaging in the cryo SEM are the results of this technique. The Leica EM ACE600 equipped with a cryo stage and a VCT500 connection provides a solution for freeze fracturing to image the revealed surface in a cryo SEM.