Vacuum Electron Staining Apparatus

High reproducibility and safely operations


What is electron staining?

Electron staining is a method for enhancement image contrast of electron microscopy specimens which are composed with light element (eg. polymer materials, biological specimens etc.), by binding heavy metals. For polymer specimens, osmium tetroxide (OsO4) and ruthenium tetroxide (RuO4) are often used.

What is “vacuum” electron staining?

Conventional electron staining is performed under atmospheric pressure by exposing specimen to gaseous OsO4 or RuO4 or immerses it to those solutions. However, it often causes overstaining or lack of reproducibility. Also, there is a risk for operators to expose to those staining agents which are highly poisonous. In contrast, our patented technology, vacuum electron staining enables more precise and safer staining by performing staining in vacuum. Staining time and gas pressure (that is, density of staining agent) in reaction chamber as well as timing of gas introducing and exhausting are automatically controlled.


Safe operation :  
Conventional – Risk for exposure to toxic staining agent with high sublimability. Drafter is required.
Vacuum – No chance to exposure to toxic substance, with closed system and multiple safety measure.
High reproducibility:  
Conventional – Unable to control density of staining agent, over staining occurs by remained gas.                                      
Vacuum – Automatic and precise control for staining time and density of agent. Eliminates over staining.
Effective for hygroscopic specimens.
Stain without atmospheric exposure: staining is performed by dry gas generated from OsO4 crystal (not aqueous solution).
Rapid and deeply staining
Less surface contamination

For determining optimal condition
With Vacuum Electron Staining, deeper staining with shorter running time is possible.
With Vacuum Electron Staining, uniform staining is possible.

With Vacuum Electron Staining, dispersion of polymers can be evaluated.


For SEM/TEM samples :
• Enhancement image contrast for polymer specimens
• Fixation for polymer specimens before ultramicrotome sectioning
• Reduction of outgassing from specimens at in electron microscope chamber.
For SEM samples :
• Elimination or reduction of charging effects on nonconductive specimens
• Embrittilement of specimens before fracturing

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