Cutting - Ultramicrotomy
The samples must be ultra-thin and electron-transparent for examination in the TEM. With an ultramicrotome equipped with special glass or diamond knives, ultra-thin sections of 20-100nm thickness can be produced. The ultramicrotome allows the transfer of the thin sections usually via a water bath onto round TEM grids. These grids are usually made of copper, gold or nickel and are often coated with a carbon or other ultra-thin film. Before cells or macromolecules from aqueous solutions can be applied, this carbon film must be made hydrophilic. This is done with the help of ionised residual gas in a plasma cleaner or glow-discharge device.
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