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SEM Cryo Chamber

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The ALTO 2100 system uses a high-stability SEM cold stage with a cooling circuit that is independent of the SEM vacuum and therefore compatible with low vacuum and environmental modes of operation.

SEM Cryo ChamberGatan Alto 2100 cryo system consists of:

  • A two-pot freezing station to produce nitrogen slush and loading pre-frozen samples.
  • A vacuum transfer device that enables loading of frozen samples into cryo preparation chamber.
  • A dedicated cryo-preparation chamber with an integral nitrogen dewar for contamination-free transfer to the SEM with no degradation of SEM performance.
  • A high-stability, gas-cooled, cold stage module fitted to the SEM stage, enabling vibration-free SEM imaging under frozen conditions.
    A built in cold knife fracture device

What are the advantages of cryo-SEM over other preparation techniques?

  • Cryo SEM is the solution for imaging hydrated, beam sensitive, volatile and low melting point specimens that are normally difficult to image in traditional SEM.
  • A rapidly frozen cryo-SEM sample is as close as possible to its natural state.
  • Chemical fixation can be avoided. No use of solvents, which can sometimes remove certain sample components.
  • No dehydration, therefore delicate structures are maintained without shrinkage.
  • Fast freezing means chemical balance is well maintained for microanalysis.
  • A soft, volatile or liquid sample is stabilized under the electron beam.
  • Materials that are normally soft at room temperature can be fractured under cryogenic conditions.
  • Freeze fracture and controlled freeze etching allow optimum exposure of internal microstructure and reveal the dispersion of components and phases in a system such as an emulsion or suspension.
  • Cryo-SEM sample preparation time is less than 10 minutes.

SEM Cryo Chamber Featured Images

SEM Cryo spinal cord image

Spinal cord, fractured

SEM Cryo kidney image

Kidney, fractured

SEM cryo scaffolding etched image

Fibrin hydrogel scaffolding material
(freeze fractured and etched)