Cryo-SEM is a technique used to view cryogenically fixed (frozen) samples in a cryogenic chamber attached to the SEM. Frozen samples remain fully hydrated in the high vacuum chamber to minimize the occurrence of artifacts and sample alteration from the dehydration process during standard SEM sample preparations.


ZeissXB350 SEM

Leica VCT 500 cryo-transfer system

Sample Preparation:

  1. Cryo-fixation in liquid nitrogen and sample loading into the cryo-chamber system
  2. Sample fractured using a cold knife for viewing of the fractured surface (Sample Temperature: -170°C)
  3. Sublimation of ice with heater (Sample Temperature: -105°C – -90°C)
  4. Sputter coating with Gold/Pt (Sample Temperature: -115°C)
  5. Cryo-SEM imaging (Maintained Sample Temperature: -120°C)


Livingston, SJ., Quilichini, TD., Booth, JK., Wong, DCJ., Rensing, KH., Laflamme‐Yonkman, J., Castellarin, SD., Bohlmann, J., Page, JE. and Samuels, AL. (2020). Cannabis glandular trichomes alter morphology and metabolite content during flower maturation. Plant J, 101: 37-56.

Arola, S., Ansari, M., Oksanen, A., Retulainen, E., Hatzikiriakos, SG. and Brumer, H. (2018). The sol-gel transition of ultra-low solid content TEMPO-cellulose nanofibril/mixed-linkage ß-glucan bionanocomposite gels. Soft Matter 14: 9393-9401.