Electron microscopy

Studying biological structures with magnifications of up to 10,000,000x

Kay Gruenewald Kay Gruenewald email hidden
Bruno Klaholz Bruno Klaholz email hidden
Bram Koster Bram Koster email hidden
Juergen Plitzko Juergen Plitzko email hidden

Instruct has 6 centres offering Electron microscopy across Europe. Navigate the map and click on the pins to discover centres near you.

Electron microscopy Details

User Guide

Instruct offers electron microscopy infrastructure and expertise at several centres. This includes access to high-end transmission electron microscopes (TEM) for cryo-electron microscopy work, the necessary preparation facilities and moreover the necessary image processing capabilities.

Visits to the centres range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of the work to be performed and the experience of the visitor in the field.

Technical Specifications

The transmission electron microscope (TEM) uses a high voltage electron beam to create an image. The electrons are emitted by an electron gun, fitted with either a tungsten filament cathode or a field emission tip as the electron source. The electron beam is accelerated by an anode at 40 to 400 keV with respect to the cathode, focused by electrostatic and electromagnetic lenses, and transmitted through the specimen that is in part transparent to electrons and in part scatters them out of the beam. When it emerges from the specimen, the electron beam carries information about the structure of the specimen that is magnified by the objective lens system of the microscope. The spatial variation in this information (the "image") is viewed by projecting the magnified electron image onto a fluorescent viewing screen coated with a phosphor or scintillator material such as zinc sulfide. The image can be photographically recorded by exposing a photographic film or plate directly to the electron beam, or a high-resolution phosphor may be coupled by means of a lens optical system or a fibre optic light-guide to the sensor of a CCD (charge-coupled device) camera. The image detected by the CCD may be displayed on a monitor or computer.


Indicates the voltage of the electron beam that is used to create an image.


Name of the microscope.

Electron source

Indicates the source that emits the electrons (e.g. lanthanum-hexaboride cathode (LaB6), field emission gun (FEG) etc.).


Indicated whether the microscope can be used for tomographic investigations.

Automated data collection for single particles

Indicates whether the microscope can be used for automated data collection for single particle analysis.


Indicated the kind of camera (manufactor, type, size) that is used for image recording.

Dark field detector

Indicates whether the microscope has a dark field detector, typically used in STEM (scanning transmission electron microscopy).

Energy filter

Indicates whether the microscope has an energy filter. Cellular tomography e.g. uses energy filters operated in a zero-loss mode. By using only the zero-loss beam, contributions from inelastically scattered electrons are removed. This reduces the noise and leads to increased contrast in TEM images, which is particularly important for specimens with low contrast, e.g. biological samples.

Max resolution

Indicates the maximal resolution to be obtained.


Indicates the kind of sample to be used for imaging.