Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NanoFab Tool: Leica EM GP Automatic Plunge Freezer

Photo Leica EM GP automatic plunge freezer

Photo Leica EM GP automatic plunge freezer

The Leica EM GP automatic plunge freezer uses the bare grid technique to prepare vitrified fluid specimens for analysis in the transmission electron microscope (TEM) using a cryo-transfer specimen holder.  Specimens in solution are applied manually to a TEM grid, then automatically blotted to remove excess fluid and plunged into liquid ethane.  Prior to freezing, the specimen is housed in an environmental chamber to maintain a controlled temperature and humidity. 


  • Automated blotting and plunging to ensure sample reproducibility. 
  • Blots from one side; sample can be rotated 180 degrees to blot other side.  
  • Blot time and position of grid to the filter paper are adjustable.
  • Blot parameters are programmable; up to 10 programs can be stored.
  • Environmental chamber temperature is variable between +4 ° and +60 °C (usually operated from room temp to 37 °C)
  • Environmental chamber humidity variable from room humidity up to 99% (usually operated from 80-90%)
  • Liquid nitrogen dewar volume = 1 liter (lasts about 1 hour without refilling)
  • Liquid nitrogen dewar temperature = -196 °C
  • Ethane container temperature = -100 °C to -196 °C (target temperature is just above freezing, ~ -174 °C)
  • Ethane temperature = below -160 °C (3 mm above ethane container)
  • Ethane volume = 2.5 ml

Typical Applications

  • Preparation of frozen TEM specimens in their native solution environment.
  • For analyzing the prepared TEM specimens, the CNST NanoFab has the Gatan high-tilt liquid nitrogen cryo-transfer tomography holder, Model 914, for use in the FEI Titan TEM.
Created April 10, 2017, Updated February 24, 2023