The LVEM microscopes are very unique in the world of electron microscopes. Although the electron microscope has gone through decades of improvement and change - and continues to do so – no single development has changed the face of electron microscopy more than the introduction of the first LVEM.
The LVEM microscopes provide high contrast by operating at much lower voltages than conventional electron microscopes. Results are acquired from samples in their inherent, natural state, yet still allow for staining as an option. Although there are instances where staining is desirable for diagnostic purposes, the necessity to stain samples in order to generate adequate detailed contrast cannot be viewed as advantageous.
The first LVEM, the LVEM5, operates at 5kV and features a benchtop footprint that is more than 90% smaller than its closest cousin. And the fact that the LVEM5 has TEM, SEM, STEM, Electron Diffraction and digital imaging makes it a technology to be taken seriously. Click here for a chart comparing the LVEM5 to its classical counterparts.
The LVEM25 builds on the LVEM5 platform and is our top of the line offering. It is the only low voltage transmission electron microscope designed to operate at 25kV. This is well below typical accelerating voltage of traditional EM (80-200kV), resulting in increased electron scattering which in turn leads to greater contrast in the TEM image. The LVEM25 can operate at a range of voltage in TEM and STEM modes, and can work with conventionally prepared thin sectioned materials.
The application areas for LVEM can be broken down into two main categories, Life Science and Material Science. In a simplified perspective, the life sciences benefit from the enhanced contrast the LVEM systems provide, while the material sciences benefit greatly from the improved throughput that a compact and high resolution LVEM microscope offers. Of course there is now great number of crossovers between these two main categories, such as biomaterials, which benefits from both aspects of the systems.
LVEM for Life Sciences
Electron microscopy is an indispensible tool in the world of life scientists. Cell biologists and neurologists use electron microscopy to visualize tissues and cells. These microscopes are being used in pathology to better understand the molecular mechanisms of disease. Virologists use these tools to observe individual viruses and virus like particles. The technique is required in the design and testing of novel biomaterials as well as in drug discovery and delivery.
These samples types are normally a major challenge to image in an electron microscope due to inherent low contrast provided by their molecular composition. This is not the case when using either the LVEM5 or LVEM25 microscopes in life sciences applications. Issues with sample contrast are eliminated entirely.
Low energy electrons, as found in the LVEM5 and LVEM25, interact much more strongly with the sample than high energy electrons of classical TEM. In the case of LVEM, electrons are strongly scattered by organic materials resulting in exceptional differentiation of features. The density difference required in a sample to give a 5% contrast difference at 5 kV is a mere 0.074 g/cm3.
The low accelerating voltage, 5kV for the LVEM5 and 25kV for the LVEM25, gives the systems the ability to provide high contrast results with no addition of contrast-enhancing staining procedures. Although there are instances where staining is desirable for diagnostic purposes, the necessity to stain samples in order to generate adequate detailed contrast cannot be viewed as advantageous.
The LVEM25 system is suitable for working with conventionally prepared specimens (thicknesses around ~100nm) and allows for staining as an option. For both the LVEM5 and LVEM25, high contrast result can be acquired from samples in their inherent, natural state. This provides images without the side effects often encountered such as staining artifacts or the sample crashing out by chemical reaction with heavy metals.
For life scientists, getting high contrast images of your unstained samples is something that conventional TEM simply cannot do. The LVEM5 and LVEM25 microscopes provide high quality results unmatched anywhere else.
LVEM for Material Sciences
Materials science is a complex field of study applying the different properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering, and has been propelled to the forefront because of its significance in nanotechnology. One of the most important tools available to scientists to investigate the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales is the electron microscope.
The LVEM5 electron microscope assists researchers in the field of materials science by providing high resolution and rapid imaging of their samples. The LVEM5 shifts the cost-benefit balance by providing nanometer level resolution across 3 imaging modes: TEM, SEM and STEM. The LVEM5 system combines all these functionality in an easy-to-operate tabletop electron microscope, and helps keep time-to-results and efforts-to-results at minimal levels.
The LVEM25 is built upon the same platform as the LVEM5, but operates at a slightly higher accelerating voltage allowing for moderate improvements in final image resolution.
Whether you’re studying polymers, nanostructures, composites or blends, the LVEM microscopes are uniquely powerful tools for your research.