alexa Disadvantages of Electron Microscopy

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Disadvantages of Electron Microscopy

Electron microscopes are very expensive to buy and maintain. They are dynamic rather than static in their operation: requiring extremely stable high voltage supplies, extremely stable currents to each electromagnetic coil/lens, continuously-pumped high/ultra-high vacuum systems and a cooling water supply circulation through the lenses and pumps. As they are very sensitive to vibration and external magnetic fields, microscopes aimed at achieving high resolutions must be housed in buildings with special services. A significant amount of training is required in order to operate an electron microscope successfully and electron microscopy is considered a specialised skill. The samples have to be viewed in a vacuum, as the molecules that make up air would scatter the electrons. This means that the samples need to be specially prepared by sometimes lengthy and difficult techniques to withstand the environment inside an electron microscope. Recent advances have allowed some hydrated samples to be imaged using an environmental scanning electron microscope, but the applications for this type of imaging are still limited.

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