Glow discharge attachment
Glow Discharge Attachment
The primary application of glow discharge is as a technique for the surface modification (wetting) of newly evaporated transmission electron microscopy (TEM) carbon support films.
Freshly-made TEM carbon support films tend to have hydrophobic surfaces which inhibits the spreading of suspensions of particles in negative staining solutions. However, after glow discharge treatment with air, the carbon film is made hydrophilic and negatively charged, allowing easy spreading of aqueous suspensions.
With subsequent magnesium acetate treatment the surface is made hydrophilic and positively charged. In addition to glow discharge treatment using air, other process gases may be used to modify surface properties. For example, methanol as a process gas results in the surface becoming hydrophobic and negatively charged. Such treatment can facilitate the optional absorption of selected biomolecules.