Atmospheric scanning electron microscope system with an open sample chamber: Configuration and applications

Hidetoshi Nishiyama, Mitsuru Koizumi, Koji Ogawa, Shinich Kitamura, Yuji Konyuba, Yoshiyuki Watanabe, Norihiko Ohbayashi, Mitsunori Fukuda, Mitsuo Suga, Chikara Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


An atmospheric scanning electron microscope (ASEM) with an open sample chamber and optical microscope (OM) is described and recent developments are reported. In this ClairScope system, the base of the open sample dish is sealed to the top of the inverted SEM column, allowing the liquid-immersed sample to be observed by OM from above and by SEM from below. The optical axes of the two microscopes are aligned, ensuring that the same sample areas are imaged to realize quasi-simultaneous correlative microscopy in solution. For example, the cathodoluminescence of ZnO particles was directly demonstrated. The improved system has (i) a fully motorized sample stage, (ii) a column protection system in the case of accidental window breakage, and (iii) an OM/SEM operation system controlled by a graphical user interface. The open sample chamber allows the external administration of reagents during sample observation. We monitored the influence of added NaCl on the random motion of silica particles in liquid. Further, using fluorescence as a transfection marker, the effect of small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of endogenous Varp on Tyrp1 trafficking in melanocytes was examined. A temperature-regulated titanium ASEM dish allowed the dynamic observation of colloidal silver nanoparticles as they were heated to 240. °C and sintered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-97
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec


  • ASEM
  • Correlative microscopy
  • Environmental cell
  • Random movement
  • Silver paste
  • Sintering


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