The ER-C is one of the word-wide leading institutes for high-resolution electron microscopy and has a long-standing tradition in the development of methods for high-resolution electron microscopy. Under the former direction of Professor Knut W. Urban, aberration correction for electron optics was co-developed here in the 1990s and the very first prototype of an aberration-corrected TEM was installed.
Today, ER-C scientists are active in various research fields:
- Method development in advanced analytical and high-resolution electron microscopy and the future development of sub-Ångström and sub-electronvolt microscopy.
- Materials science and high-resolution characterisation in various areas such as electroceramics, oxide superconductors, spintronic materials, semiconductors, complex metallic alloys and catalysts.
- The Structural Biology department (ER-C-3) uses cryo-electron microscopy as the central method to investigate the structural biology of fundamental cellular processes.
The ER-C currently operates several aberration-corrected high-resolution (scanning-) transmission electron microscopes and a large number of additional electron microscopes. Additional equipment for microstructural characterization, advanced in-situ experiments and sample preparation is also available. Find out more on this website.
Aberration corrected transmission electron microscopes
The FEI Titan G2 60-300 HOLO is an image-corrected TEM equipped with a wide pole piece gap, cryo-blades, a direct electron detector, as well as two to three electron biprisms. It is designed for in situ TEM, magnetic imaging and biological imaging studies.
The FEI Titan 50-300 PICO is a double spherical aberration corrected and chromatic aberration corrected (S)TEM alongside with a monochromator, two electron biprisms and a direct electron detector after a post column energy filter. It allows a spatial resolution below 50 pm in both TEM and STEM modes.
The Hitachi HF5000 is a probe-corrected environmental STEM equipped with cold field emission gun, pixelated detectors, a dual EDS detector and a post column energy filter.
The TFS Spectra 300 is a state-of-the-art FEG Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (S/TEM) with a high-tension voltage range of 30 kV – 300 kV. Thanks to its specially designed enclosure it is not only possible to transfer information well below 1 Å resolution, it also allows the system to easily reach ultra-high resolution routinely in a noisier environment.
The Tescan Tensor STEM is an integrated analytical precession-assisted 4D-STEM instrument for multimodal characterization of nanoscale morphological, chemical, structural and crystallographic properties of a wide range of materials systems.
Transmission electron microscopes
Zeiss Libra 120 T
Instruments for biological samples
The TFS Talos 120C transmission electron microscope is a screening microscope suitable for negative staining and cryo samples.
The TFS Talos Arctica is a 200 kV field emission gun transmission cryo electron microscope designed for high resolution structure determination. It is equipped with a Gatan Bioquantum K3 direct electron detector with an energy filter.
The TFS Vitrobot Mark IV plunge freezer is used for cryo sample preparation. Samples are automatically blotted and rapidly frozen in liquid ethane to embed biological samples in vitreous ice.
The Krios G4 (Thermo-Fisher Scientific) is a 300 kV FEG cryo-electron microscope with X-FEG field emitter and a three-lens condenser system. The detector options are a Gatan BioContinuum energy filter mounted K3 direct electron detection camera and a bottom mounted Falcon 4(i) detector (FEI). Combined with fringe-free imaging (FFI) and aberration-free image shift (AFIS) in EPU, high-throughput imaging rates can be achieved. The microscope can be tuned set up for single-particle imaging, STEM and tomography experiments.
The Aquilos 2 is a dual beam FIB-SEM platform specifically designed for sectioning of cryo-fixed samples, producing thin lamellae suitable for cryo-electron tomography at an TEM in an automated batch method. Updated with the integrated fluorescence microscopy module – METEOR system and CERES ice shield (Delmic), our Aquilos 2 allows for performing in-situ fluorescence microscopy directly on the sample inside the system and reduces transfer steps and associated ice contamination, simultaneously increasing the efficiency of the cryo- correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) pipeline. The Aquilos 2 can be used to cut “windows” in (biological specimen) so cellular processes can be subsequently visualized and later resolved three-dimensionally in their native environment.
Focused ion beam instruments
The FEI Helios NanoLab 460F1 is a highly advanced dual beam FIB-SEM platform for imaging and analytical measurements, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) sample and atom probe (AP) needle preparation, process development and process control.