New Users of the JEOL JEM 3200FS

Before proceeding with the training on the instrument described here, all new users of the JEOL JEM 3200FS will need to do the following things:

  1. Talk to the staff about the overall use of the JEOL JEM 3200FS and the specifics of the project that require the use of the 3200FS. In general, this discussion will have taken place before any official training of users starts.

    We currently request a short written description of the project: any useful background information (including references to similar work), specific goals for the project, the state of sample(s) to be examined, expectations for time (including benchmarks along the way), any direct involvement of the staff in a particular project, etc. This document and the written response from the staff serves to clarify the project and how it should be accomplished, and serves as a very informal contract between the EMC and our users.

  2. Before using the 3200FS for any purpose, you must receive training on the JEOL JEM 1010 electron microscope in Myers Hall. Contact Barry Stein for further information about this training. After training with the 1010, there will be a proficiency test indicating that a new user is ready to start learning to operate the 3200FS. Also, keep in mind that any and all projects that can be accomplished using the 1010 should be done on that instrument.

  3. After learning to use the 1010, schedule time for training on the 3200 with the staff. This training will occur in several short (~2 hr) blocks of time where new users will initially familiarize themselves with operation of the 3200FS and then with operation of the cameras and detectors attached to the 3200FS. This initial training is likely to involve four or five 2 hr blocks and is intended to teach users how to operate the 3200FS under normal imaging conditions. More advanced training (including microscope alignment, minimal dose imaging, cryoTEM, STEM, EELS, EDX and STEM combined with EELS and/or EDX) will also be available to interested users. This additional training will be at the staff's discretion and will involve additional blocks of time.

  4. In addition, once you are ready to start using the 3200FS, obtain a computer account on Karst. This account on Karst will give you access to the area where the 3200FS writes all the data (images, spectra, etc.). The IU computer clusters including Karst are part of the High Performance Systems group of IU's Research Technologies division and can be used for image analysis and processing. The programs initially installed on the clusters are aimed at data collected for cryoTEM and tomography, but we will add additional software when and if it becomes useful.

    NOTE: An overview of computing at IU that includes descriptions of Karst and other computing facilities can be found here.

  5. In order to minimize the carbon contamination inside the 3200FS, grids for normal EM applications using the 3200FS should have a pure carbon support film (not formvar, carbon/formvar or any other sort of plastic layer backing the carbon). If you already have grids containing plastic layers, the plastic can be removed. In addition, you can make pure carbon support films using the carbon evaporator in the Myers Hall EM facility (contact Barry Stein for lessons on how to use this device) or you can purchase pre-made EM grids with pure carbon support films from EM supply companies such as:

    • EMS
    • Ladd
    • SPI
    • Ted Pella (note: many Ted Pella grids have a formvar backing that is designed to be removed, but the "pure carbon film" supports shown here are formvar-free)

It is also possible to use support films made from silicon nitride or silicon monoxide, again with the caveat that if such grids also contain plastic support layers, the plastic will need to be removed whenever possible.