[3dem] Freezing hydrophobic grid

Bill Tivol tivol at caltech.edu
Wed Apr 30 13:32:51 PDT 2008

On Apr 7, 2008, at 8:10 PM, Puey Ounjai wrote:

> I am trying to make thin ice on hydrophobic carbon surface  
> (continuous). I am trying to make ice equally spreaded on the surface.
> Usually, it breaks and form droplet on the carbon?
> Any  suggestion would be highly appreciated!
Dear Puey,
	This problem was faced and solved for cryoEM by glow-discharging the  
carbon to make the surface hydrophyllic.  One or two minutes  
treatment with a rather low power plasma cleaner, such as the Harrick  
instrument will do it.  If you need the surface of the carbon to  
remain hydrophobic, then you will have to add something to the water,  
such as a detergent or surfactant in order to get uniform wetting of  
the surface.  You could also freeze small droplets of water by using  
an atomizer to deposit them onto a cold metal surface, then removing  
the now frozen droplets and applying them to the grid, which must be  
done without allowing the droplets to melt, of course.
Bill Tivol, PhD
EM Scientist
Electron Cryo-Microscopy Facility
Broad Center, Mail Code 114-96
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena CA 91125
(626) 395-8833
tivol at caltech.edu

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