Freeze Fracture Transmission Electron Microscopy

Use for the characterization of all liquid-liquid and liquid-gas samples where disperse microphases are involved

We have had the experience over the years of characterizing a vast number of liquid-liquid systems, mainly for clients in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. We use the technique of jet freezing to affect the highest possible quench rate, and do the fracturing in a specially configured freeze-fracture chamber optimized for doing this type of work.

All TEM fields are photographed as stereo pairs; we have found over the years that just too much potentially valuable information is lost when the microscopy is not done as stereo pairs. Or in-house TEM equipment has the needed goniometer stage which allows for the taking of stereo pairs in almost the same time as conventional single field (without stereo) studies.

The "package":
Our equipment "holds" four samples at a time, hence the most cost effective number of samples is four or multiples of four. A "fifth" sample is an expensive sample in the sense that it is run alone, by itself. We do not have to do four samples, but for most studies, since one or two control samples should be run anyhow, meeting the target of four samples typically is not an issue.

Managing the work is also a major challenge and we provide all sample preparation, the TEM as stereo pairs at the appropriate magnifications, providing a minimum of nine stereo pairs per sample, including printing as 8x10" enlargements, and the writing of a final report that describes fully our procedures, the results and their discussion, and our analytical conclusions.

Pricing for the work:
The package price is $6500 for a set of four samples, which includes all of the above as well as an unlimited amount of consulting, so long as it is by phone or by visits to our own laboratory facilities. Visits to client facilities are charged our current daily consulting fees.

Some times there is a divergence between what a client expects vs. what the micrographs show. We can only present describe what the results are, not what the client would them to be. Because of our experience, we know pretty much in advance which systems are probably not going to work and which ones probably will. We like having a good "track record" and will try talking a client out of doing a job that we ourselves thing has little chance of succeeding. Of course, we have to walk a narrow line since we don't want our predetermined judgment to become a self-fulling prophecy. The point is, we are as eager as are our clients that our clients not waste their money trying to do the impossible. We know a lot of laboratories, perhaps less experienced than our own, have literally wasted thousands upon thousands of client dollars trying to do either the impossible or trying to do what is possible the wrong way. If we should tell you that it is not likely to succeed with your particular system and objectives, give that advice serious consideration before asking us to proceed anyhow.

Occasionally, a particular job does not work out the way either our client or we would have ourselves predicted. In such cases, we will normally try a second or even a third time to make certain that the job can't be done. But we will still expect to be paid for our efforts because after all, we can not carry the burden of risk that the samples are going to be as the client had earlier described them to us.

If you have an application for the Structure Probe, Inc. freeze fracturing services, we welcome the opportunity to discuss your requirements and confirm that we believe the job could be successfully accomplished.