TEM windows

TEMwindows-LogoIn addition to our extensive range of conventional TEM support films we are pleased to offer Silicon membranes from TEMwindows.com

TEM windows are available in Silicon Nitride, Silicon Dioxide and Pure Silicon.

  • Plasma Cleanable
  • Increased Uniformity
  • Withstand temperatures >1000°C
  • Withstand harsh deposition & chemical conditions
  • Competitively Priced

All of the Silicon based windows are designed to fit into standard 3 mm TEM sample holders. The optimal 100 micron thick frames fit a wide range of TEM holders and especially designed for high tilt and tomography applications. Additionally, 200 micron thick frames can be supplied to order.

Choosing the best Silicon membrane for your application

The nature of the specimen preparation may determine the choice of membrane. The thermal and chemical stability, surface hydrophobicity, and plasma cleanability differ among the various membranes and should be taken into consideration for each application. The table shows the properties of each membrane type. Click headers in table to view ordering details.

Amorphous SiliconPorous Nano crystalline SiliconSilicon OxideSilicon Nitride
Actual thickness (nm)5,9,151520,405,10,20,50
Image qualityExcellentGoodOKGood
Plasma cleanableYesYesYesYes
Elemental analysis BackgroundSi onlySi onlySi, OSi, N
Thermal stability~600C>1000C>1000C>1000C
Chemical stabilityAvoid strong basesAvoid strong basesGoodExcellent
Tolerates High Beam currentsExcellentExcellentOKOK
Potential contamination sourceNoneNoneNoneNone
Open Nanoscale poresNoYesNoNo
BackgroundFeaturelessNano crystallineFeaturelessFeatureless
Silicon nitride windows can be vigorously plasma cleaned to remove organic contamination. They give reduced field-to-field variability with less than 0.5nm variation in thickness across an entire production batch, not just a single window. Incorporates LPCVD, low-stress (~250MPa), non-stoichiometric silicon nitride: providing flat, insulating and hydrophobic surfaces. Download handling instructions here

Slots or squares?

TEM windows are available in an assortment of geometries including standard two slot or nine square formations. Due to the geometry, the squares will be slightly more robust and more likely to survive rigorous sample preparation. The slots allow larger uninterrupted viewing windows.

Choice of membrane thickness

The choice of membrane thickness and type is dependent on many variables. Thinner membranes (5-10 nm) are more suitable for higher resolution imaging, while thicker membranes (15-50 nm) are better for demanding sample preparation procedures. You should consider using a thicker membrane for method development and moving to thinner membranes for final imaging.

  • 5nm for the highest resolution imaging
  • 10nm for high resolution with increased robustness
  • 20nm for everyday imaging
  • 50nm for the most demanding conditions
  • Microporous for suspension of materials and Cryo-TEM

 

tem-productnumber-nitride

Silicon Nitride membranes (TEM windows) have the advantage of being chemically inert and mechanically robust, being able to withstand temperatures >1000°C. They are particularly suitable for conducting nanotechnology experiments directly on their surface over a wide temperature range.

Microporous windows have 2 micron pores that are patterned in 50 nm silicon nitride in a gridded pattern within a single 500 x 500 micron window. These microporous windows can be used for suspending a variety of thin films such as graphene as demonstrated in the Nature paper cited below. These films are also used for Cryo EM as well as high-tilt tomography. At 70 degree angles, the thin and bevelled 100 micron silicon frame allows you to use a ~50×50 micron region within the centre of the window from any rotational orientation.

microporous_silicon_nitride

Grains and grain boundaries in single-layer graphene atomic patchwork quilts Pinshane Y. Huang,, Carlos S. Ruiz-Vargas,, Arend M. van der Zande,,William S. Whitney,, Mark P. Levendorf,, Joshua W. Kevek,, Shivank Garg, Jonathan S. Alden,, Caleb J. Hustedt,, Ye Zhu,, Jiwoong Park,, Paul L. McEuen, & David A. Muller    Nature:469, :389–392 (20 January 2011)

 

Substrates for High-Resolution Imaging

The following TEM Window grids are recommended for high-resolution imaging of nanoparticles or nanotubes:

5 nm Pure Silicon TEM Windows 

Electron Tomography at 2.4A Resolution

Scott et al. (2012) Nature. 483: 444-447

Direct imaging and chemical analysis of unsustained DNA origami performed with a Transmission Electron Microscope

Alloyeau et al. (2011) Chemical Communications. 47: 9375-9377

Revealing Correlation of Valence State with Nanoporous Structure in Cobalt Catalyst Nanoparticles by In Situ Environmental TEM

Xin et al. (2012) ACS Nano. 6: 4241-4247

 

5 or 10 nm Silicon Nitride TEM windows 

Twinning and Twisting of Tri- and Bilayer Graphene

Brown et al. (2012) Nano Letters. 12(3):1609-1615

Three-dimensional Imaging of Dislocations in a Nanoparticle at atomic Resolution

Chen et al. (2013) Nature. 496(7443): 74-77

Grains and Grain Boundaries in Highly Crystalline Monolayer Molybdenum Disulphide

Van der Zande et al. (2013) Nature Materials. 12: 554-561

Tailoring Electrical Transport across Grain Boundaries in Polycrystalline Graphene

Tsen et al. (2012) Science.  336: 1143-1146

Silicon Nitride membrane

Silicon Nitride membranes (TEM windows) have the advantage of being chemically inert and mechanically robust, being able to withstand temperatures >1000°C. They are particularly suitable for conducting nanotechnology experiments directly on their surface over a wide temperature range.


Pure silicon membranes

Pure Silicon TEM windows. Every batch of TEMwindows is tested for robustness and inspected under the TEM. Prior to packaging, each TEMwindow is individually inspected in an optical microscope.


Silicon Dioxide membrane

Silicon oxide TEM windows. Every batch of TEM windows is tested for robustness and inspected under the TEM. Prior to packaging, each TEM window is individually inspected in an optical microscope.


Storage and handling

Gelbox with 5×5 Grid and K6 Tweezers