Sample preparation is often a tedious and time-consuming task, but it is important to get it right because unintentional variations in the process can derail the entire experiment and falsely label an experiment as “failed”. Protochips has just released a new set of workflow tools that will not only make sample preparation much more reproducible but will also save you time and improve your results.

New Shadow Mask for Precise Sample Deposition

Now you can use a host of different physical vapor deposition methods with your Protochips E-chips and ensure targeted sample deposition only where you want it, time and time again:

  • Compatible with all Fusion*, Atmosphere, and Poseidon E-chips
  • Prevents shorting the E-chip
  • Keeps spacers on Atmosphere and Poseidon E-chips clean for leak-free holder assembly
  • Also great for drop casting solutions and dry-loading powders


Left: New shadow mask fixture; Middle: gold sputtered onto an Atmosphere heating chip right over the viewing area (optical image); Right: gold sputtered perpendicular to the window onto a small Poseidon window E-chip (SEM image)

*shadow mask is not compatible with the Fusion FIB-optimized line of E-chips

New Inspection Holder for Observing Sample Deposition and Pre- and Post- Mortem Sample Characterization

Closed-cell in situ holders have really opened up a new level of research in the TEM. Now, scientists can use more realistic conditions for their sample while observing critical dynamics at the nanoscale. The new Protochips inspection holder allows you to flow through your sample preparation faster and enables you to do ultra-high-resolution characterization before and after your in situ experiment on the E-chip.

The inspection holder is compatible with both the large and the small E-chips and will enhance both your Atmosphere and Poseidon workflows:

  • Quickly screen your sample E-chip in the TEM for sample distribution, concentration, and agglomerations to optimize before assembling and leak checking your in situ holder
  • Characterize your sample both pre- and post- experiment while on the E-chip. Collect high resolution images, EDS, EELS, diffraction, observe beam effects, and more.
    • For Poseidon where the liquid can interfere with resolution, any experiment can benefit from analysis with the inspection holder
    • For Atmosphere, where resolution is usually very good on most samples, 2-D and low-Z materials can benefit from analysis with the inspection holder.

The inspection holder is a single tilt holder that enables analysis of samples on large and small E-chips from Protochips.

The Workflow Package

The inspection holders come with the shadow mask in our new Workflow Package for closed-cell holders. The shadow mask can also be purchased separately. Please contact your local Protochips Sales Representative or send an email to for a quotation today!

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