Botanic Garden Meise

 Research

Scanning Electron Microscopy

The Garden uses a JEOL 5800 LV Scanning Electron Microscope.

All kinds of objects can be screened, but especially botanical material is being studied from pollen to seeds, from mushroom spores to wood sections. Other institutions and firms also make use of this SEM facility.

Mahonia pollen Tilia pollen

Objects may be scanned under low or high vacuum, with each method offering numerous possibilities. A comparison of the two methods is given here:

High vacuum Low vacuum
  • Water holding material has to be critical point dried.
  • The material is attached to an object table by double-sided pressure
  • sensitive tape or a carbon platelet for a smooth black background.
  • The tables are covered with a thin gold layer of about 15 nm.
  • The scanning surface can be seen on a TV screen, it is a quicker way and the pictures are of a higher quality than on low vacuum.
  • Magnifications up to x 60,000.
  • The material preparation takes much time and is rather expensive.
  • An object can be screened for a long time, without deformation, it can be stored and scanned again afterwards.
  • Fresh material is used without any treatment.
  • Fresh material is used without any treatment.
  • The material is attached to an object table by double-sided pressure sensitive tape.
  • The material has to be put in the microscope as soon as possible.
  • A slow scan of the image is made, it has a rather gazing image.
  • Magnifications up to x 2,000.
  • The preparation is very easy and fast.
  • The material has to be scanned very quickly because of the drying and deformation. Afterwards the material is lost for further use.
diospyros
castanea
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