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Instruments

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Since 2012 there has been a Hitachi Scanning Electron Microscope (SU8030) available that produces high-resolution topographical images. The microscope is equipped with a field emission cathode and a Gatan cryo system for the investigation of cryo-fixated samples. With an Oxford energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) detector elemental analysis of even the smallest specimens can be done.

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The FEI Talos L120C TEM is acquired for routine measurements of predominantly stained samples at room temperature, but can in principal also be used at cryo-conditions. The FEI Talos L120C is equipped with a LaB6 cathode and can be operated at a maximum accelerating voltage of 120 kV. It includes a 16k CETA CMOS camera providing a large field-of-view with high sensitivity and high speed.

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The FEI Talos™ Arctica TEM is especially suited for high-resolution 3D cryo-imaging, namely for cryo-tomography or imaging of synthetic supramolecular assemblies or biological macromolecular complexes. The 200kV FEG machine is equipped with an automated loading device (“autoloader”) for up to 12 samples combined with an integrated liquid nitrogen Autofill system for long-term cryo-sample stability. A “Volta phase plate” enables close-to-focus image data acquisition with substantially enhanced image contrast. The “Falcon III” direct electron detector allows high resolution imaging at very low electron exposure at frame rates of up to 25ms/frame (“movie mode”). EPU software enables automated data acquisition.

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We have a Philips Tecnai F20 for the characterization of samples at higher resolution, which is equipped with a field-emission cathode (FEG) that can be operated at a maximum accelerating voltage of 200 kV. Image recording is performed with an Eagle 4k CCD camera. The high sensitivity of the CCD camera can record tomographic image series even for cryo-fixated samples. Corresponding control and evaluation software (TIA, Inspect 3D) is also at hand. For cryo-TEM investigations two Gatan cryo-transfer systems (cryoholder and –stage, model 626; tomography holder and stage, model 914) are available.

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