[3dem] Problems blotting the liquid ethane

Eduardo Sanz-Garcia esanzgar at chem.byu.edu
Fri Feb 22 14:21:51 PST 2008

Bill Tivol wrote:
> Dear Eduardo,
> I don't blot the liquid ethane at all. When I remove the tweezer from 
> the ethane and dip it into LN2, the ethane freezes.  The ethane that 
> remains on the grid protects against ice crystals landing on the grid 
> during the transfer to the grid box, and the ethane is gone by the 
> time the grid is loaded into the scope. 
Do you have any guest of what is the highest temperature during the 
I have an hypothesis: I do the whole process so near to liquid N2 
temperatures that there is not chance for the solid ethane on the grid 
to sublime.
Is that possible?
If the ethane is still solid when holder is inserted in the microscope 
how long would it take to sublime?
> Furthermore, ethane is non-polar, so it would not be expected to wick 
> into the filter paper, which is cellulose and, therefore, polar.
This is not true. Filter paper can blot non-polar substances, including 
liquid ethane.
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