K-kit wet cell liquid TEM sample holder chamber

 

K-kit wet cell - liquid TEM sample holder

Introduction

The K-kit is an easy to use innovative sample holder for liquid specimens. It is a single-use sample holder with a sealable micro-channel between two silicon nitride membranes. The K-kit is made from silicon with Si3N4 membranes, using the latest MEMS technologies. Included with the K-kit is a copper aperture grid to mount the sealed wet cell. The k-kit is compatible with most standard TEM holders.

The microchannel, with two rectangular silicon nitride windows, enables imaging and analysis of nano-particles suspended in aqueous solutions. The size of the silicon nitride window is 300µm x 25µm with channel heights of 0.2 and 2µm. The inside of the microchannel is coated with Si3N4. Applications are wide ranging from, material, life, chemical and biological sciences.  Nanoparticles can be imaged in their native state  or in-situ dynamic physical and/or chemical reactions can be observed.

K-kit model

The K-kit can also be used in dry mode. The suspended particles are dried in the K-kit microchannel to avoid agglomeration which tends to occur when droplets of suspensions are dried on a support film.

Compatible with FESEM – STEM detectors. The K-kits with the 30nm Si3N4 membranes are compatible with FESEM s equipped with a STEM detector when 25 – 30kV is used for imaging. The best results are achieved in dry mode.

Features and benefits of the K-kit wet cell:

  • easy to use liquid TEM sample holder for aqueous suspensions
  •  low cost alternative to  very expensive in-situ liquid TEM holders
  • choice of two microchannels: 0.2 µm and 2 µm
  • compatible with STEM detectors in FESEM systems @ 25-30 kV
  • suitable for EDS analysis
  • complete set of  dedicated preparation tools available
  • dry mode for quantitative analysis of nano-particles

Easy process with a set of dedicated tools

K-kit process

Unpack K-kit Mount in holder Touch carrier on drop Seal ends with glue Mount on a TEM hole grid

    Process in practice

The K-kit is easy to use with a set of dedicated tools. They are designed to facilitate the complete sample preparation process. Each K-kit is packaged with a copper TEM aperture grid.
When mounted on the K-kit holder,  touch the K-kit sample holder onto a droplet to draw in the liquid. The liquid sample enters the microchannel by capillary action. Turn the K-kit sample holder in a vertical position to seal the microchannel with a vacuum proof sealant (Torr Seal). After that, the K-kit sample holder is mounted in a standard 3mm copper aperture grid using vacuum compatible epoxy. After a short pump down in a vacuum chamber, the K-kit liquid sample is ready for imaging.
For dry nanoparticle imaging omit the microchannel sealing step; the liquid evaporates quickly under vacuum.

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