ASEM DishesElectron microscope observations in open atmosphere

Thanks to the newly-developed ASEM and ASEM dish technology, we observed various physical phenomena in real time at EM resolutions--in open atmosphere.

Abstract from: Ultramicroscopy. 2011 Dec;111(12):1650-8. Epub 2011 Aug 18.


The Atmospheric Scanning Electron Microscope with open sample space observes dynamic phenomena in liquid or gas.

Suga M, Nishiyama H, Konyuba Y, Iwamatsu S, Watanabe Y, Yoshiura C, Ueda T, Sato C.

Clair Project, JEOL Ltd., 3-1-2, Musashino, Akishima, Tokyo 196-8558, Japan.

Although conventional electron microscopy (EM) requires samples to be in vacuum, most chemical and physical reactions occur in liquid or gas. The Atmospheric Scanning Electron Microscope (ASEM) can observe dynamic phenomena in liquid or gas under atmospheric pressure in real time. An electron-permeable window made of pressure-resistant 100 nm-thick silicon nitride (SiN) film, set into the bottom of the open ASEM sample dish, allows an electron beam to be projected from underneath the sample. A detector positioned below captures backscattered electrons. Using the ASEM, we observed the radiation-induced self-organization process of particles, as well as phenomena accompanying volume change, including evaporation-induced crystallization. Using the electrochemical ASEM dish, we observed tree-like electrochemical depositions on the cathode. In silver nitrate solution, we observed silver depositions near the cathode forming incidental internal voids. The heated ASEM dish allowed observation of patterns of contrast in melting and solidifying solder. Finally, to demonstrate its applicability for monitoring and control of industrial processes, silver paste and solder paste were examined at high throughput. High resolution, imaging speed, flexibility, adaptability, and ease of use facilitate the observation of previously difficult-to-image phenomena, and make the ASEM applicable to various fields.

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We investigate the structure of proteins and molecular complexes at the macromolecular level, using a combination of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and Optical Microscopy (OM).