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J Microsc. 2000 Oct;200(Pt 1):1-13.

Digital imaging in transmission electron microscopy.

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National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, Department of Neurosciences, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


The digital revolution currently under way, as evidenced by the rapid development of the Internet and the world-wide-web technologies, is undoubtedly impacting the field of transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Digital imaging systems based on charge-coupled device (CCD) technologies, with pixel array size up to 2 k x 2 k at the present and increasing, are available for TEM applications and offer many attractions. Is it time to phase out film cameras on TEMs and close the darkrooms for good? This paper reviews digital imaging technologies for TEM at different voltages, and contrasts the performance of digital imaging systems with that of TEM film. The performance characteristics of CCD-based digital imaging systems, as well as methods for assessing them, are discussed. Other approaches to digital imaging are also briefly reviewed.

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