Updated on April 16, 2013
Transmission Electron Microscope
- Philips CM10 (1990, Philips Electron Optics, Eindhoven, The Netherlands)
- HT: 40-100kV
- Resolution (objective lens): 0.5 nm/5.0 ångströms (point), 0.34 nm/3.4 ångströms (line)
- Magnification: 20- 450,000X
- Plate film camera for image acquisition
for investigating internal ultra-structures of biological specimens as well as
physical materials at high resolution and magnification.
- CONSULT EQUIPMENT TECHNICIAN IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS
- Push down the PANEL
DIM knob to illuminate panel and screen.
- Check to ensure UHV
lights on (vacuum status is ‘ready’ on screen).
- [Optional] Check IGP<10 (access via VACUUM page
soft-key. DO NOT TOUCH ANY SOFT-KEYS ON THIS PAGE UNLESS YOU ARE SURE!).
- Check the working accelerating voltage on the screen.
- If you use 100 kV and emission 4, then go to next step,
because they are preset (vary occasionally; ask if not sure).
- If you want to select a different kV and emission, ask technician to help since the filament re-saturation is required (Appendix
A). Warning: do not change the parameters after HT is ON.
- Push HIGH
TENSION button, then the light should be on. Wait until that the needle is stablized.
- Turn FILAMENT
knob slowly, approximately 2-3 seconds per click, clockwise until a
beeping is heard (for W filament only).
- If the filament burn out, ask technician to change it (Appendix
- Center the beam by using SHIFT X and Y knobs.
- If you are familiar with “TEM” page, go to next
step. At the middle of the “TEM” page, you may check:
- M (magnification: normally @ 800X)
- HT (accelerating voltage: 40-100kV)
- spot (beam size and intensity: 1-11, normally 2)
- focusstep (step change during focus: 1-9)
- defocus (the distance from focal point)
- plate auto (type of camera film and exposure status: keep
- meter (exposure time for photographing: normally 1-2 sec)
- exp no (plate number: e.g. 2218)
- stock (how many plates left: max. 36)
- Also, there are 8 soft-keys on each side of screen for
adjustment of parameters.
- [Optional] Beam alignment, Condenser astigmatism correction.
CM10 is usually aligned and astigmatism corrected, but if you want to
check, please carefully follow the instructions in Appendix
specimen holder out of storage box. Check that the holder tip is clean. Clean
it following the instructions when necessary. Reset the
holder on its support rack, lift the holder clamp with a special
pin-tool. Hand fingers never touch the top part of the rod.
place the specimen grid into the carrier, and lower the clamp back
onto the grid. Specimen should be facing upwards for
transmitted-electron detection (and downwards for X-ray
detection, not applicable).
the holder into the microscope by the following two steps.
insert the holder into the airlock for the first stop with the pin on
the holder in the 5
O'clock" position, which will trigger the pre-pumping system and the
Airlock indicator light will be on (red). Wait until the red light is
off (in 32 sec). Then hold and rotate the holder CCW so that the
holder will slide smoothly and fully into the microscope.
- If it does not fit, NEVER EVER forces the holder past an
- NEVER EVER drop down the holder, or hit anything using
- To change specimen, take
specimen holder out of microscope with three steps: pull the holder out without
any rotation first to a stop, then rotate the holder CW to another stop
and pull out.
Imaging (standard mode):
- Turn MAGNIFICATION
knob CCW so that a low Mag image may be seen.
- Play with knobs of INTENSITY, MAG and FOCUS to get a
suitable image of interested area.
focusing or spreading the electron beam. Also, there is a
button “FINE” beside it for finer focusing or spreading.
Changing the magnification of the image.
Focusing the image. The top knob is for focus step, bottom knob is for
focus. Correct usage is to use the top knob to set a large
and focus, then set small step for fine focus. Repeat this coarse-fine
step until a good quality, clear image is obtained. Focusing is a basic
practice for using EM machine. Further instructions are available in
the original manual.
- Put in Small screen and Beam-stop insertion will help
focus a lot.
- Sometimes objective system alignment and astigmatism
C) are required for better imaging.
- Take photos:
- Lift the big (and small if you used) screen
button on left side panel will be lit. Make sure the room light is off.
- Look at TEM page, see what is the exp# and
stock#. The exp# on screen is the film# that has been taken.
- Then press the EXPOSUE button, the
light will be off, and CM10 starts photographing itself. Wait a few seconds--When
it is done the Exposure button is lit again.
- Replace the big screen. You will see that exp#
and stock# have advanced 1 digit. Record this exp# in your notes using the forms
- More information about photographing:
- CM10 is currently using plate camera, full capacity of
the magazine is 36.
- Photographing area: square position on main screen.
- There are
two pages for setting photographing parameters: TEM CAMERA and CAMERA
INITIATION. Many parameters are very important and preset by
technician, so do not change them if you are not sure.
- Exposure time of 1-2 sec is normal. Measure it using
small screen if the main screen is not fully illuminated.
- Exchange plates: See Appendix
D or original manual, or see technician.
- Film development: Technician will handle it. Or see Appendix
- [optional] FILAMENT
off: turn “Filament” knob CCW until it beeps.
off: press the High Tension button once, the indicating light is off.
specimen. It is necessary to insert the specimen holder back
(with/without a specimen) into the machine so that good vacuum is kept
for CM10. Be sure that the holder is totally in. (Check that
slot on the end of the holder is in place, i.e. a pin is inside the
- Set MAGNIFICATION
Check vacuum: press “Vacuum” soft key and get vacuum status page, and
check the valves of pump P1, P2, P3 and IGP. Record values of P3 and
- Push the PANEL
DIM knob down so that panel light is off.
- Fill in User
Logbook, and note anything unusual!
- Turn room lights off and close door behind you.
- Beam intensity
different spot size (condenser). CM10 has 11 spot
sizes. The smaller, the stronger..
- Select different objective aperture. There are 4 sizes to
choose, from 1 to 4. The smaller the weaker.
- Select different condenser aperture (C2). There
are 4 sizes to choose, from 1 to 4. The smaller, the weaker.
- Select different kV/emission. The lower, the weaker.
- Contrast and resolution
have to use one objective aperture to get good contrast image. The
smaller the aperture is, the better contrast (also the weaker the beam
- You can also try to use smaller condenser aperture and
spot size, and higher emission current.
- Focusing and photographing
- Use small screen and beam-stop insertion under binoculars.
- Use Wobbler.
biological samples are phase contrast objects. Therefore, an
underfocus image may be a good image. Obtaining some experience with
your particular samples will help you determine how much underfocus is
ILLUSTRAION OF KNOBS,
BUTTONS AND KEYS ON CM10:
functions: Normalize lenses (when screen is down), i.e. demagnetizes
the lenses and then re-sets the lenses to previous settings; Take
photos (when screen is up).
Do nothing on CM10 because CM10 has no motorized
Turn it to change the holder (must step down on the foot
Beam intensity control; Bring spot light together [Bring
intensity to SHIFT (location of spot)].
Press it (green light above the button is illuminated) to
finely adjust the intensity.
Increases or decreases the brightness (intensity) of the
electron beam (via Condenser current).
(7) WBL (Wobble)
to adjust the focus by splitting the image into two. Help focus at low
magnifications. When the focus is
correct, the 2 images overlap, otherwise the 2 images separate.
MULTIFUNCTION X (ROTATION) can be used to change
the orientation (i.e. direction) of the separation between the 2 images.
Y (ANGLE) can be used to change the degree of wobble (i.e. how far the
2 images separate at a given degree of de-focus). This increases the
angle of the wobble i.e. the angle with respect to the lower objective
lens. Too large an angle (i.e. too great a wobble) can result in a lose
of the beam.
(8)/(11) Dials to move the sample
looking for a section of a specific feature, search systematically by
scanning back and forth. Be very careful NOT to keep turning either
handle if it sticks (i.e. resists turning; a red light should come on):
continuing to turn either handle can result in a serious jam and
require a service!
image appears on this screen. The 4 corners drawn on in black (eye
bow-like) mark the edge of the area exposure to film. Note that a
photography record (magnification, plate#) will partially block the top
miniature screen, displaying a small, central, region of the image, can
be viewed through the oculars. The oculars can be adjusted for
individual user’s eyes in terms of focus and distance between the
(11)/(8) Dials to move the sample.
(12) DATA DIM
Turn the knob to increase/decrease
the brightness of data screen.
Push the knob to illuminate panel and monitor.
Number 1-11. Lower numbers = smaller spot size (finer
beam). 2 is common, 3-4 for high resolution.
moves the plane of focus up and down. This up and down movement can be
accomplished in steps of various sizes, 1 to 9. Step 1 is the smallest
and step 9 is the largest.
(16) Date Screen (aka Monitor CRT)
Display vital information about the microscope, e.g.
Magnification; Step size; Photograph number etc.
to clear the ERROR message on screen; or reset quantities such as the
number of exposures remaining after changing the film.
¬Used to move from one screen to another.
(19) AUTO focus
A focus pre-set. If goniometer sample height is correct
pushing it places the sample at the correct focal level.
X: moves beam in X direction; Y: moves beam in Y direction
(22) D (Diffraction)
the beam down to a spot on the screen. The images generated are of the
diffracted beam, not the sample, a technique for material science. We
use the Diffraction control for objective aperture (lower, at the same
level as the sample holder). Under this control, the magnification
controls the “theoretical distance” from the sample to the screen.
Both the inner and outer knobs control the magnification
in discrete “jumps”. The image may rotate as magnification is changed.
after the activation of ALG, STG, DF, etc. X = beam/image
the magnification to unkown XXX); Y
= beam/image ANGLE.
the Filament current (good value is 8-10uA). If, after turning up the
FILAMENT knob (28) until a beeping sound is heard, the emission is
still zero, this could be indication a burnt out filament.
Push to trun on the high voltage.
it slowly to saturate the filament brightness. There is a limit on how
high the current should be set at certain parameters. It is NOT
necessary to turn down the filament before turning off the HT.
Push it to turn on the entire TEM--restore everything
including computer and microscope. Keep it as is.
off the functions that require the cooling water and compressed air.
The TEM uses much less electricity under this setting, i.e. during
construction or water/electricity power interruption, or for long-term
shut down. NOT for normal overnight resting state.
Push it to shut down the entire TEM. Never do it without
Selecting ON or OFF will result in the pumps being
connected or disconnected from the column, but NOT for IGP pump.
(34) Vacuum indicating LEDs for UHV/ HIVAC/PREVAC
the vacuum condition. The TEM would work only at the condition of both
UHV and HIVAC are illuminated. Some features in the vacuum system
include (can be seen on Vacuum pages):
P1 = buffer tank (30-38).
P2 = rotary pump (pre-pump)
(could be 100, but must be down when the VAC is ON).
P3 = oil diffusion pump
(~30, should be below 60, may reach 100 when the film is changed).
IGP= Ion Getter Pump
(~10-20, should be below 52, may reach higher when column is aired).
Cam Air (Camera Air) for
Col Air (Column Air) for
changing the filament.
Vacuum accidents can be caused by forcing the sample into the column
before the red light goes off, or by lower compressor air, etc.
a device use to correct asymmetries in an electron lens by superposing
on the field of the lens a second adjustable field. Used to correct
Tilt the beam through the specimen. This channel is useful
for immunogold TEM and crystal TEM etc.
Put the TEM in alignment mode. To be used after changing
the filament etc.
(38) Main/small screen lever
screen lever can raise main screen out of the beam for photographing;
Small screen lever moves the small screen into the beam for finer focus.
(39) Center beam-stop insertion
This knob brings the beam stop into position to intercept
the cental beam of a diffraction pattern. To operate, turn the knob 45o
CCW and push it as far as it will go. The beam-stop is also useful for
focussing the binoculars on the small screen (focus on the sharp
shadow). The part under it is an adjuster knob (rotation of this knob
adjusst the length of tavel of the beam-stop).
(40a)/(41a) Objective/C2 aperture displacement lever
Displace the aperture holder into (rotate to the left) and
out of (rotate to the right) the beam.
aperture centering control
knurled knobs operate in two perpendicular directions to center the
aperture with respect to the microscope axis. Caution: Do not try to
force the control beyond stops.
has 4 click stop positions. In each position, one of the 4 apertures
held in the holder is positioned on the microscope axis.
4 apertures which can be introduced successively into the beam using
the selector. The holder can be removed from column (once air has been
admitted) by first unscrewing the knurled end and then carefully
pulling it straight out. When replacing back ensure that the guide pin
enters the slot.
(42) Specimen holder
of the holder has tow phases: The first to initiate automatic pumping
of the airlock to pre-pump, the second to place the specimen on the
electron optical axis. Caution: not lbe left too long in the
intermediate position; take care to maintain a firm grip--not let it
suck in quickly.
(43) Airlock indicator light
lit (red), indicates pre-vacuum pumping of specimen airlock in progress
after first stage of insertion of specimen holder. The light
extinguishes in 32 seconds then gives clearance for the completion of
the insertion procedure which must be carried out right away..
(44) Gun-lifting level
Lift the gun assembly from the emission chamber (once air
has been admitted).
(45) Emission chamber
(a tiny button on the left of the screen, not visible in image above)
touch it. Press ONLY on instructions of FEI Specialists. Pressing it
will restart the computer (leading to a minimum 30 min down time).