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An Improved Cryogen for Plunge Freezing

  • William F. Tivol (a1), Ariane Briegel (a1) and Grant J. Jensen (a1)


The use of an alkane mixture that remains liquid at 77 K to freeze specimens has advantages over the use of a pure alkane that is solid at 77 K. It was found that a mixture of methane and ethane did not give a cooling rate adequate to produce vitreous ice, but a mixture of propane and ethane did result in vitreous ice. Furthermore, the latter mixture produced less damage to specimens mounted on a very thin, fragile holey carbon substrate.


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Briegel, A., Ding, H.J., Li, Z., Werner, J., Gitai, Z., Dias, D.P., Jensen, R.B. & Jensen, G. (2008). Location and architecture of the Caulobacter crescentus chemoreceptor array. Mol Microbiol 69, 3041.
Brüggeller, P. & Mayer, E. (1980). Complete vitrification in pure liquid water and dilute aqueous solutions. Nature 288, 569571.
Griffith, C.A., Penteado, P., Rannou, P., Brown, R., Boudon, V., Baines, K.H., Clark, R., Drossart, P., Buratti, B., Nicholson, P., McKay, C.P., Coustenis, A., Negrao, A. & Jaumann, R. (2006). Evidence for a polar ethane cloud on Titan. Science 313, 16201622.



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