Microscopy is critical to understanding the structure and composition of the materials that make up our world. Scientists, chemists, medical researchers and engineers rely on the ability to create images in resolutions beyond the visual capability of our eyes, in order to understand the evolution and behavior of our planet; process and understand forensic evidence; identify and study biological samples to ultimately cure diseases; adjust the composition or microstructure of products that enhance our lives; and develop new, or enhance existing, technologies.
Health and safety are of the highest importance. Biological materials like blood, tissue, and microscopic organisms such as viruses and bacteria are only fully understood when they can be viewed. When it comes to consumer goods, microstructure or chemical analysis is often necessary to ensure product consistency and quality. In addition, manufacturing defects in a high volume production environment can cost companies millions of dollars if not realized in QA inspection. Electron microscopy in particular offers us the ability to see beyond and understand the building blocks that drive the behavior of materials.
To enable or improve the imaging of samples for electron microscopy, the coating of samples with thin film deposition is often necessary. The specific coating materials and techniques vary based on the unique sample requirements and the type of analysis. For the scanning electron microscope (SEM), a sample coating creates a very thin, continuous and conductive coating that inhibits charging, reduces thermal damage and improves the secondary electron signal required to generate three-dimensional-like images of the sample surface. For the transmission electron microscope (TEM), fine-grained, transparent, conductive carbon layers coat the sample to support imaged films on grids and backup replicas. Glow discharge for TEM is useful for making the grids hydrophilic.
When preparing samples for SEM or TEM, achieving consistent and repeatable results that are stable from test to test is a challenge. Denton Vacuum’s sample prep solutions are designed to ensure maximum repeatability for the highest confidence in your results. For more details about our flexible and compact solutions (saving you space in your lab), select one of the product pages below.