K-kit wet cell liquid TEM Transmission Electron Microscope sample holder chamber
innovative, low cost liquid sample chamber

K-kit wet cell liquid TEM sample holder chamber




The K-kit is an easy to use innovative sample holder for liquid specimens. It is a single-use sample holder with a sealable micro-channel between two silicon nitride membranes. The K-kit is made from silicon with Si3N4 membranes, using the latest MEMS technologies. Included with the K-kit is a copper aperture grid to mount the sealed wet cell. Alternatively, the K-kit wet cell can be mounted in the optional and reusable K-kit Folding Grids .The k-kit is compatible with most standard TEM holders.



K-kit model

The Si3N4 membrane are electron transparent. There is a choice of 30 or 100nm membrane thickness. The 100 nm membranes are more robust and for TEM applications only. The 30nm membrane are intended for high resolution imaging and SEM applications

The microchannel, with two rectangular silicon nitride windows, enables imaging and analysis of nano-particles suspended in aqueous solutions. The size of the silicon nitride window is 300µm x 25µm with channel heights of 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2 and 5µm. The inside of the microchannel is coated with Si3N4. Applications are wide ranging from, material, life, chemical and biological sciences. Nanoparticles can be imaged in their native state or in-situ dynamic physical and/or chemical reactions can be observed.


The K-kit can also be used in dry mode. The suspended particles are dried in the K-kit microchannel to avoid agglomeration which tends to occur when droplets of suspensions are dried on a support film.

Compatible with FESEM – STEM detectors. The K-kits with the 30nm Si3N4 membranes are compatible with FESEM s equipped with a STEM detector when 25 – 30kV is used for imaging. The best results are achieved in dry mode.

Features and benefits of the K-kit wet cell:


  • easy to use liquid TEM sample holder for aqueous suspensions
  •  low cost alternative to  very expensive in-situ liquid TEM holders
  • choice of Si3N4 membrane thickness: 30nm and 100nm
  • choice of two microchannels: 0.1, 0.2, 0.5 1, 2 and 5 µm (most popular are the 0.2 and 2um microchannels)
  • 30 nm membrane compatible with STEM detectors in FESEM systems @ 25-30 kV
  • optional reusable and glueless folding grid to hold the k-kit wet cell
  • suitable for EDS analysis
  • complete set of  dedicated preparation tools available
  • dry mode for quantitative analysis of nano-particles


Easy process with a set of dedicated tools


K-kit process

Unpack K-kit Mount in holder Touch carrier on drop Seal ends with glue Mount on a TEM hole grid


The K-kit is easy to use with a set of dedicated tools. They are designed to facilitate the complete sample preparation process. Each K-kit is packaged with a copper TEM aperture grid.
When mounted on the K-kit holder,  touch the K-kit sample holder onto a droplet to draw in the liquid. The liquid sample enters the microchannel by capillary action. Turn the K-kit sample holder in a vertical position to seal the microchannel with a vacuum proof sealant (Torr Seal). After that, the K-kit sample holder is mounted in a standard 3mm copper aperture grid using vacuum compatible epoxy. After a short pump down in a vacuum chamber, the K-kit liquid sample is ready for imaging.
For dry nanoparticle imaging omit the microchannel sealing step; the liquid evaporates quickly under vacuum.


Publication list


The K-Kit can be used with many solutions and solvents. The glue (Torr Seal), used to seal the microchannel, has been tested for 24 hrs and is compatible with:

Chloroform (CHCl3)
PEG400 (Polyethylene Glycol)
NMP (N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidone)
CAN (CH3CN – Acetonitrile)
DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide)
0.1N HCl (Hychloric acid)
0.1 N HNO3 (Nitric acid)
0.1 N KOH (Potassium Hydroxide)
1% NH4OH ( Ammonium Hydroxide)

The glue (Torr Seal) is not compatible with: Acetone, DCM (Dichloromethane) and THF (Tetrahydrofuran)

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