E3100 Critical Point Dryer
The E3100 large chamber critical point dryer has been an industry standard for over 35 years and is used in numerous scanning electron microscopy (SEM) laboratories around the world. Primarily used for critical drying of biological and geological specimens, the E3100 can also used for the controlled drying MEMs, aerogels and hydrogels.

Key features


  • Proven reliability – over 6,000 critical point dryer installations world-wide
  • Simple robust construction – easy to maintain – many critical point dryer users carry out their own routine maintenance
  • Horizontal chamber and large viewing window – excellent visibility of the fluid level and drying process
  • Safety – the design has been independently type tested to proof pressures in excess of the working pressure and bursting disc rupture pressure
  • Specimen handling – optional specimen holders for coverslips and TEM grids. Porous pots are available for fragile or very small specimens
  • Extended warranty option

Temperature control

Dial gauges display pressure in the chamber and the temperature of water circulating through the jacket. Three pressure valves permit easy connection to the liquid CO2 cylinder and allow liquid agitation and venting of the chamber.

A source of hot running water is essential. Cooling is also useful, especially for sequential critical point drying process runs and/or in laboratories where the room temperature may be high.

The temperature of the E3100 chamber is raised with a hot water supply. Mains water can be used but a more elegant method involves the use of the optionalE4860 Recirculating Heater/Chiller which can be used to pre-cool the chamber to below ambient temperature prior to loading specimens and then to heat the chamber to the critical temperature.



Operator safety is of course an important consideration with all pressure vessels. If during the critical point drying process the pressure and temperature are inadvertently exceeded, a safety bursting disc is incorporated in the chamber support. The design has been independently type-tested to proof pressures in excess of the working pressure and bursting disc rupture pressure.

Specimen holder (boat)

An important feature is the design of the E3100 transfer boat. This permits specimens in the intermediate fluid to be transferred to the chamber of the critical point dryer. On sealing the chamber, the intermediate fluid begins to drain and can be replaced with liquid CO2. In this way the specimens are never allowed to dry out during the loading and transfer stage of the critical point drying process.

The E3100 is supplied with the E3100-01 tissue boat which has three slots each with three tissue baskets, making a total of nine. Optional holders are available


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