[3dem] Floating carbon off of mica?

Paolo Swuec Paolo.Swuec at cancer.org.uk
Wed May 14 02:46:22 PDT 2014

Dear Isabel,

We had the same problem in the lab. We now "bake" the mica freshly coated with carbon (5nm) at 50C for half a day (usually coat the mica in the morning and float it before leaving). It solved our problem and no more cracking of the carbon layer or carbon left on the mica. We do prefer to use the carbon as fresh as possible, it gave us best reproducibility.


Paolo Swuec,
Architecture and Dynamics of Macromolecular Machines
London Research Institute
Clare Hall Laboratories
Cancer Research UK
South Mimms
Herts EN6 3LD, UK

E-mail: paolo.swuec at cancer.org.uk<mailto:alessandro.costa at cancer.org.uk>

From: Isabel Cylinder <cylinder at ohsu.edu<mailto:cylinder at ohsu.edu>>
Date: Tuesday, 13 May 2014 22:11
To: "3dem at ncmir.ucsd.edu<mailto:3dem at ncmir.ucsd.edu>" <3dem at ncmir.ucsd.edu<mailto:3dem at ncmir.ucsd.edu>>
Subject: [3dem] Floating carbon off of mica?


I'm currently attempting to float a thin carbon film off of mica and onto EM grids. I was able to successfully complete the procedure before using a very thick layer generated by a very old carbon evaporator, but now we have a new machine and can key in layer thickness to the nanometer. That said, I'm creating a 10 nm layer of carbon on a 1"x3" piece of mica, and when I try to float the carbon into a Buchner funnel full of water, it crumbles and fragments and I am left with no useable pieces of carbon to float down onto my EM grids. My next step will be to try a 20 nm layer of carbon on a smaller piece of mica.

Does anybody have any experiences like this? How did you fix this problem? Any tips?

Any and all help is appreciated. Thank you!

Isabel Cylinder
Research Assistant II
Barklis Lab
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
Oregon Health & Science University
(503) 494-8098

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