Conventional preparation for scanning electron microscopy

Preparing samples for scanning electron microscopy comprises different steps starting with the fixation of the specimen with aldehydes and osmium tetroxide. After a following gradually dehydration of the specimens with organic solvents the specimens are dried by critical point drying. This technique allows a gentle drying process using liquid carbon dioxide. The dried specimens are then mounted on metal stubs and finally coated with a mixture of gold/palladium.