Ultramicrotomy is mainly used as a sample preparation method for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It permits the internal fine structures of samples to be visualized and analyzed at nanometer scale resolution. It produces ultrathin sections of samples in a fast and clean manner. A key advantage of ultramicrotomy is the size and homogeneity of the electron-transparent area within the sections and the speed at which the sections are produced.
Ultramicrotomy can be used for multiple types of samples, including biological specimens and industrial materials, e.g. polymers (rubber and plastics) and ductile, hard, or brittle materials (metals or ceramics). There are other techniques for preparing thin sections of these samples, like focused ion beam (FIB) milling, ion etching, tripod polishing, and electrochemical processing, but ultramicrotomy has advantages in terms of speed and cleanliness.
Array tomography (AT) is a high resolution, 3D image reconstruction method for cellular and protein structure analysis. It is performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) or light microscopy (