Comparison Hydrophobic Comparison Hydrophilic
Comparison of contact angle for water droplet on hydrophobic and hydrophilic Smart Grids.
The contact angle for hydrophobis is > 100° while the hydrophilic is < 10°.


Smart Grids™ are a cross-disciplinary tool that integrates the combined capabilities of electron microscopy, surface science, and electronic and optical interrogation in a single sample, provide the most comprehensive understanding of structural, chemical, and functional characteristics at the nanoscale. Smart Grids™ can be used in a wide variety of disciplines including the development of new nanomaterials, nanosystems, electronics, bionanotechnology, and engineered interfaces.


Smart Grids™ offer the opportunity to enhance the visualization of both nanomaterials and assemblies of nanomaterials for a broad range of materials and applications. Surface chemistries are available to meet a wide variety of needs to simplify sample preparation, reduce sample preparation time, and improve image quality for transmission electron microscopy. In addition, the opportunity afforded to integrate multi-technique analysis gives an unprecedented capability to understand structure-chemistry-function relationships at the nanoscale.

Potential Applications:

Carbon nanotubes/fullerenes, Metal oxides/ceramics, Quantum Dots/Semiconductor nanomaterials, and Metallic nanomaterials.

Life Sciences:

Transmission electron microscopy has been used extensively in biological sciences for more than 30 years to reveal subcellular and macromolecular structure in biological tissues. Recent advances in instrumentation, fixation, contrast enhancement, sample preparation, and image processing have allowed for a truly remarkable understanding of cellular structures and the relationships of individual entities within the cells. New capabilities for attaching antibodies to staining agents have allowed for more targeted labeling of individual cellular constituents. Armed with these tools and the knowledge gained from their application, there are numerous opportunities to expand the use of electron microscopy as both a research and an industrial tool for life sciences.

Potential Applications:

Pharmaceuticals | Biomolecular Imaging | Diagnostics & Treatment of Disease


TEM and STEM provides unmatched visualization for a wide range of properties including layer structures and uniformity, definition of complex structures such as corners and edges, interfacial adhesion and roughness, and defect structure. Smart Grids™ offer the opportunity to simplify TEM sample preparation while increasing sample reliability and reproducibility (especially useful for FIB lamella), establish new standards for metrology, expand capabilities for process development, and enhance the use of TEM as a standard for quality assurance for both devices themselves as well as semiconducting materials and materials used for processing (e.g. CMP slurries). Smart Grids™ are copper-free so there is no opportunity for contamination of samples in highly sensitive clean-room environments.

Potential Applications:

Metrology | FIB | CMP | Nanomaterials