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Observations of unstained biological specimens using a low-energy, high-resolution STEM.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of electron microscopy
Publication Date
Volume
55
Issue
3
Pages
157–163
Identifiers
PMID: 16809349
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Low-energy, high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is introduced as a convenient method for observing unstained biological specimens. By reducing the electron energy, the cross section for light elements becomes comparable to that of conventional electron microscopy observations. The STEM mode exhibited the advantage that the induced energy loss and charge build-up in the sample affected the image to a lesser extent than in the TEM or SEM mode. Furthermore, the efficiency of an STEM detector is high, and the total radiation damage can be reduced if thermal damage due to localized heating at a slow scan operation can be overcome. We applied this method for observations of biological samples that were in the form of thin slices, fine fibers and small particles. When the supporting film for samples is absent, the resolution and the contrast of STEM images can be maintained similar to SEM and TEM images, respectively.

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