Pure Silicon UltraSM® Features and Benefits

UltraSM® Silicon TEM Windows offer a truly unique combination of enabling features and benefits. 

Nanometer Thinness: UltraSM TEM Windows feature imaging windows with 5 to 15 nm thickness, reducing background contribution and interference for higher contrast imaging. Most impressively, 5 nm thick Non-Porous UltraSM Silicon TEM Windows are thinner than the thinnest commercially available amorphous carbon membranes.



Plasma Cleanable: Unlike traditional carbon grids, samples prepared on UltraSM TEM Windows can be vigorously plasma cleaned to remove organic contamination and to improve image quality.


Uniformity: Non-Porous UltraSM TEM Windows are more consistently thin than carbon grids, reducing field-to-field variability. (Note: Porous UltraSM windows do have inherent crystalline features, but feature background-free nanometer-scale pores).



Reduced Chromatic Blur: In comparison to the thinnest commercially available amorphous carbon membranes, 5 nm Non-Porous UltraSM Silicon TEM Windows yield half the chromatic blur. This dramatic difference results from a two-fold reduction in inelastic scattering of electrons passing through the thinner membranes of UltraSM Silicon TEM Windows. In turn, the reduced chromatic blur offers a potential two-fold improvement in imaging resolution.


Nanometer-Scale Pores: UltraSM TEM Windows are available as porous films with pores ranging from 10 to 50 nm in diameter. The pores allow simple and stable suspension of nanoscale materials for imaging without intervening background.


Silicon Composition: The elemental silicon composition of UltraSM TEM Windows remarkably increases stability at high beam currents and at high annealing temperatures. The pure silicon composition also introduces a minimal background signal, making elemental analyses of sample containing nitrogen and/or carbon possible by EDX and EELS.


Isolated Poly-Crystallinity: The poly-crystalline nature of porous UltraSM TEM Windows offers an internal calibration standard for x-ray diffraction studies. The isolated crystalline features also provides a convenient and reliable scale for high-resolution size measurements, well-characterized crystal lattice of silicon.


Hydrophilicity: The hydrophilicity of both non-porous and porous UltraSM TEM Windows is tunable by plasma and/or ozone treatment making sample preparation easier, particularly for samples in aqueous solutions.


Product Specifications:



Frame size
2.9 mm octagon (corner-to-corner)

Frame thickness and composition
100 or 200 micron thick silicon

Window type
SiMPore’s UltraSM silicon membrane technology

Window thickness
5, 9 or 15 nm

Window geometry
Nine (9) 100 x 100 micron squares <or>
Two (2) 100 x 1500 micron slots

Pore diameter
~ 40 to 50 nm maximal pore diameter (applies only to porous windows)

~ 5% porosity



Note: Non-Porous films are lightly wrinkled with approximately 5 microns or less deflection across 100 microns of travel. This is typically not problematic for high-resolution imaging. Additionally, porous films may contain a ~10 micron pinhole in a particular window that can be useful for beam alignment and does not reduce the robustness of the film. 



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