The Cryo-Electron Microscopy Facility provides capabilities for high-resolution electron microscopy and tomography of stained and unstained specimens. Cryo-EM allows the observation of biological samples in their native environment, in the absence of the distortions and artifacts associated with traditional sample preparation methods, and is suitable for proteins and protein complexes, viruses, fibers, liposomes and intact prokaryotic cells up to about 1µm thickness. A recent upgrade to the Gatan K2 direct electron detector and SerialEM automated acquisition software enables near-atomic resolution imaging for suitable specimens as small as 150 kDa. The Tecnai F20 microscope is available for use as a core service and by users who have undergone appropriate training.

Features of the Tecnai F20 electron microscope:

  • 200 kV acceleration voltage
  • Field-emission gun (FEG) electron source
  • Gatan K2 direct electron detector; 3,712 x 3,840 pixels; 5 µm pixel size; 400 frames/sec; DQE up to 0.8 in electron counting mode.  
  • SerialEM software for manual and semi-automated, low-dose acquisition for single-particle and tomographic data.
  • Gatan 626 high-tilt cryo-sample holder, tilt range up to ±70°


  • FEI Vitrobot sample vitrification apparatus

  • Leica Ultracut UC6 cryo-microtome

  • Emitech K200X glow discharge apparatus

Fee Schedules

Internal UAB

External Academic

External Commercial


Facility Manager: Cindy Rodenburg
Director: Terje Dokland
Phone: 996-4502   

                                   Equipment Reservation