Pure Silicon TEM Windows offer a truly unique combination of enabling features and benefits.

Nanometer Thinness:

Pure Silicon TEM Windows feature imaging windows with 5 to 15 nm thickness, reducing background contribution and interference for higher contrast imaging. Most impressively, 5 nm thick Non-Porous Pure Silicon TEM Windows are thinner than the thinnest commercially available amorphous carbon membranes.


Plasma Cleanable:

Unlike traditional carbon grids, samples prepared on PurebSilicon TEM Windows can be vigorously plasma cleaned to remove organic contamination and to improve image quality.


Uniformity:

Non-Porous Pure Silicon TEM Windows are more consistently thin than carbon grids, reducing field-to-field variability. (Note: Porous windows do have inherent crystalline features, but feature background-free nanometer-scale pores).

Reduced Chromatic Blur:


In comparison to the thinnest commercially available amorphous carbon membranes, 5 nm Non-Porous Pure Silicon TEM Windows yield half the chromatic blur. This dramatic difference results from a two-fold reduction in inelastic scattering of electrons passing through the thinner membranes of Silicon TEM Windows. In turn, the reduced chromatic blur offers a potential two-fold improvement in imaging resolution. Dr. David Muller (Cornell University) described these differences in a white paper.

Nanometer-Scale Pores:

Pure Silicon TEM Windows are available as porous films with pores ranging from 5 to 50 nm in diameter. The pores allow simple and stable suspension of nanoscale materials for imaging without intervening background.

Silicon Composition:

The elemental silicon composition of TEM Windows remarkably increases stability at high beam currents and at high annealing temperatures. The Pure Silicon composition also introduces a minimal background signal, making elemental analyses of sample containing nitrogen and/or carbon possible by EDX and EELS.

Isolated Poly-Crystallinity:

The poly-crystalline nature of porous Pure Silicon TEM Windows offers an internal calibration standard for x-ray diffraction studies. The isolated crystalline features also provides a convenient and reliable scale for high-resolution size measurements, well-characterized crystal lattice of silicon.

Hydrophilicity:

The hydrophilicity of both non-porous and porous Pure Silicon TEM Windows is tunable by plasma and/or ozone treatment making sample preparation easier, particularly for samples in aqueous solutions.

PbSe on 5nm a-Si PbSe on Carbon
Lead Selenide nanoparticles on 5 nm non-porous Pure Silicon TEM Window (left) and conventional carbon film (right). Particles provided by Chris Evans, University of Rochester and imaged by Brian McIntyre, University of Rochester.