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The degree to which this occurs relates to sample thickness and composition.

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If the specimen scatters the electrons more or less than the surrounding medium an image can be formed of the structure. Staining of biological material can be used to enhance the amount of electron scattering that occurs. The images produces resemble a pattern of dots. Electron crystallography uses diffraction to work out complex structural arrangements at very high resolutions.

GUN The gun is the part of the microscope that produces the electrons and is responsible for their acceleration into a beam. The gun is composed of a filament, Wehnelt cylinder and an anode.

About the Practical Course

There are several types of filament, as shown in the image on the right. The W filament is the standard tungsten filament.

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It has a relatively low cost and is easy to maintain. The LaB6 crystal has a longer life-span and produces a slightly brighter and more cohesive beam. The field emission gun FEG is the best type of gun and by far the most expensive to purchase and maintain, but is not always available or needed.

Scientific program

Routine imaging of biological specimens often only requires a W type filament and lab managers are able to change the filament themselves without needing to call out an engineer. These are positioned along the column of the microscope and are used to control the electron beam.


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TEM column. The lenses produce a magnetic field along the path of the electron beam.

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The electrons spiral around the magnetic field lines. In older TEMs increasing and decreasing the magnification by ichanging the power of the objective lens would result in the image rotating as the electron spiral was tightened or relaxed. Modern TEMs correct for this rotation. It is the shape of the lenses that create a field to focus the electron beam.

Electromagnetic lenses can produce a lot of heat and are often cooled using circulating water or coolant. There are environmental scanning electron microscopes that operate at reduced vacuum levels, compared to most EMs, but the resolution is often limited as a result and these instruments are exceptions that use backscattered electron imaging. Modern electron microscopes have differential vacuums along the column, enabling the area around the filament to have the highest degree of vacuum.

High vacuum systems require a specimen airlock through which the sample is introduced to the specimen chamber.

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This speeds up the rate of specimen exchange as only a small volume of air needs to be pumped out. There is an elaborate pumping system for the electron microscope column. If the vacuum is broken the microscopes will protect the filament by shutting down the electron emission. A day in the life of an onychophoran lab. Embryonic hydraulics triumphs.

Major projects and accomplishments

July in preprints. The successful candidate will assist the EM Facility Manager in two main areas. The first is the day-to-day running of the facility, which will include preparation of chemical solutions, ordering consumables and general lab maintenance. The second will be to undertake work on service projects, which will involve the preparation and imaging of biological specimens for EM, and also to train users in EM specimen preparation techniques including ultramicrotomy and on the electron microscopes.

There will also be scope to develop the capabilities of the facility in advanced EM techniques, which will involve both independent and collaborative work with researchers. Here, researchers from many different departments across the University image everything from nanoparticles, proteins, viruses and bacteria to cells, tissue and whole organisms, as part of research in diverse range of disciplines, including biomedicine, biophysics, biochemistry and plant biology.

This Facility provides its users with a broad range of EM options, from imaging negatively stained particulate samples and thin sections of resin-embedded cells and tissue at the ultrastructural level using TEM, to high resolution topgraphical imaging of cells and whole organisms eg: C.


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  8. Development and optimisation of advanced EM techniques is a key priority for the Facility so that we can continue to provide our expanding user base with access to cutting edge EM methods and technologies. If you are interested in this role, and have the skills and experience we are looking for, please apply online. You will be required to upload a CV and supporting statement as part of your online application. The closing date for applications is Interviews will be held in the week beginning 16 June Tags: electron microscopy , Jobs , research assistant Categories: Jobs.