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Electron Microscopy

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Support Teams / Electron Microscopy
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What We Do

The Electron Microscopy Facility enables biological research at micro- and nano-scales and provides Janelia researchers a nexus for multidisciplinary collaboration in high-resolution imaging. We offer state-of-the-art instrumentation, services, and training in sample preparation, transmission  electron microscopy and image analysis.  With 5,000-square-feet of space, we’re set up to prepare samples using conventional wet chemistry, microwave techniques and high-pressure freezing/freeze substitution. Our skilled staff will assist researchers and train them in the science and practice of electron microscopy as well.


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  • FEI Tecnai G2 20 TWIN electron microscope with LaB6 gun and Gatan Ultrascan 4k x 4k quad port digital camera
  • FEI Spirit BioTWIN electron microscope with LaB6 gun and Gatan Ultrascan 4k x 4k quad port digital camera
  • Zeiss Nvision 40 FIB SEM for 3D nanoscale high-resolution imaging (equipment maintained by EM facility and operated by Hess Lab)
  • Zeiss Xradia 510 Versa for submicron X-ray imaging (equipment maintained by EM facility and operated by the Fetter Lab)
  • Wohlwend HPF Compact 01 high-pressure freezer for freezing suitably-sized unfixed, uncryoprotected samples without significant ice crystal damage
  • Leica EM AFS2 automatic freeze-substitution system for processing samples prepared by high-pressure freezing or progressive lowering of temperature (PLT) methods
  • Built-in UV lamp for UV-catalyzed resin polymerization at low temperature
  • Leica UC6 ultramicrotomes for room temperature and cryo semi-thin and ultra-thin sectioning. Each microtome is positioned in a separate room with adequate bench space and ancillary specimen preparation equipment so as to be self-contained sectioning areas
  • Leica KMR2 knifemaker for making glass knives
  • EMS 100 Glow Discharge unit for making support films on hydrophilic grids
  • Denton Explorer 14 Auto high-vacuum deposition system or carbon and metal coating that’s equipped with a quartz thin film monitor and rotary stage
  • Pelco BioWave Pro microwave oven with ColdSpot, SteadyTemp, and vacuum chamber options for maximum microwave sample preparation flexibility


  • Operation of microscopes and acquisition of images
  • Sample fixation and processing
  • Sample sectioning and staining for TEM
  • Development of protocols for special research needs
  • Training


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