Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Specimen Charging on Thin Films with One Conducting Layer: Discussion of Physical Principles

  • Robert M. Glaeser (a1) (a2) and Kenneth H. Downing (a2)

Although the most familiar consequences of specimen charging in transmission electron microscopy can be eliminated by evaporating a thin conducting film (such as a carbon film) onto an insulating specimen or by preparing samples directly on such a conducting film to begin with, a more subtle charging effect still remains. We argue here that specimen charging is in this case likely to produce a dipole sheet rather than a layer of positive charge at the surface of the specimen. A simple model of the factors that control the kinetics of specimen charging, and its neutralization, is discussed as a guide for experiments that attempt to minimize the amount of specimen charging. Believable estimates of the electrostatic forces and the electron optical disturbances that are likely to occur suggest that specimen bending and warping may have the biggest impact on degrading the image quality at high resolution. Electron optical effects are likely to be negligible except in the case of a specimen that is tilted to high angle. A model is proposed to explain how both the mechanical and electron-optical effects of forming a dipole layer would have much greater impact on the image resolution in a direction perpendicular to the tilt axis, a well-known effect in electron microscopy of two-dimensional crystals.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author. E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Brink, J., Gross, H., Tittmann, P., Sherman, M.B., & Chiu, W. (1998a). Reduction of charging in protein electron cryomicroscopy. J Microsc191, 6773.

Brink, J., Sherman, M.B., Berriman, J., & Chiu, W. (1998b). Evaluation of charging on macromolecules in electron cryomicroscopy. Ultramicroscopy72, 4152.

Cazaux, J. (1995). Correlations between ionization radiation damage and charging effects in transmission electron microscopy. Ultramicroscopy60, 411425.

Downing, K. (1991). Spot-scan imaging in transmission electron microscopy. Science251, 5359.

Jakubowski, U., Baumeister, W., & Glaeser, R. (1989). Evaporated carbon stabilizes thin, frozen-hydrated specimens. Ultramicroscopy31, 351356.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Microscopy and Microanalysis
  • ISSN: 1431-9276
  • EISSN: 1435-8115
  • URL: /core/journals/microscopy-and-microanalysis
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 22 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 76 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 28th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.