Support Equipment

Cressington Sputter Coater with Thickness Monitor (Au/Pd, Ag, Cu, Au targets)

This instrument is set up to coat specimens with a thin conductive film of Au/Pd prior to viewing with the ESEM. Virtually any other metal can be deposited as well, for instance, Ag, Cu and Au have all been deposited over self-assembled monolayers of latex spheres used as stencil masks in nanosphere lithography. The thickness monitor permits deposition of a layer of any thickness measured in nanometers.

Denton BTT-IV Vacuum Coater (Carbon and metal evaporation)

This instrument has the capability to provide a vacuum environment (to 10–8 torr) for evaporation of carbon and/or metals (such as Au or Pt) for both conductive coatings of specimens or the production of metal shadow replicas of extremely small specimens or specimen surfaces. It also has the capacity to plasma clean surfaces of contaminants that interfere with wetability.

Leica UCT Ultramicrotome

This ultramicrotome is a precision device whose purpose is to cut ultrathin sections of materials at thicknesses from around 40 to 1000 nm (1 µm). Knives prepared from glass, sapphire or diamond are commonly used for this purpose. There are six Diamond knives of various widths available for ultrathin sectioning.

Tousimis AutoSamDri 815 Critical Point Dryer

This device is designed to substitute supercritical carbon dioxide at low temperature for acetone or alcohol so that drying of the specimen can be accomplished at higher temperature and pressure via the rapid phase transition of the supercritical CO2 to gas. This process is used for dehydrating or drying any specimen, e.g. biological samples or nanostructures, whose microstructure can be altered or destroyed during normal evaporative drying of water or other liquids.