Send to

Choose Destination
J Struct Biol. 2012 Feb;177(2):212-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2011.12.023. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Cryo X-ray microscope with flat sample geometry for correlative fluorescence and nanoscale tomographic imaging.

Author information

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH, Institute for Soft Matter and Functional Materials, Albert-Einstein-Str. 15, 12489 Berlin, Germany.


X-ray imaging offers a new 3-D view into cells. With its ability to penetrate whole hydrated cells it is ideally suited for pairing fluorescence light microscopy and nanoscale X-ray tomography. In this paper, we describe the X-ray optical set-up and the design of the cryo full-field transmission X-ray microscope (TXM) at the electron storage ring BESSY II. Compared to previous TXM set-ups with zone plate condenser monochromator, the new X-ray optical layout employs an undulator source, a spherical grating monochromator and an elliptically shaped glass capillary mirror as condenser. This set-up improves the spectral resolution by an order of magnitude. Furthermore, the partially coherent object illumination improves the contrast transfer of the microscope compared to incoherent conditions. With the new TXM, cells grown on flat support grids can be tilted perpendicular to the optical axis without any geometrical restrictions by the previously required pinhole for the zone plate monochromator close to the sample plane. We also developed an incorporated fluorescence light microscope which permits to record fluorescence, bright field and DIC images of cryogenic cells inside the TXM. For TXM tomography, imaging with multi-keV X-rays is a straightforward approach to increase the depth of focus. Under these conditions phase contrast imaging is necessary. For soft X-rays with shrinking depth of focus towards 10nm spatial resolution, thin optical sections through a thick specimen might be obtained by deconvolution X-ray microscopy. As alternative 3-D X-ray imaging techniques, the confocal cryo-STXM and the dual beam cryo-FIB/STXM with photoelectron detection are proposed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center