Microscope as Art Medium
The electron microscope is a type of microscope that uses a beam of electrons to create an image of the specimen. It is capable of much higher magnifications and has a greater resolving power than a light microscope, allowing it to see infinitesimally smaller objects in finer detail. With their distinctive depth of field and incredible amount of detail, electron microscopes create stunning images of even the tiniest objects. They are large, expensive pieces of equipment, generally standing alone in a small, specially designed room and requiring trained personnel to operate them.
Modern electron microscopes produce electron micrographs in three ways using specialized digital cameras or frame grabbers to capture the image:
Freeze Fracture Electron Microscopy
Freeze fracture is unique among electron microscopic techniques in providing planar views of the internal organization of membranes. The technique consists of physically breaking apart (fracturing) a frozen biological sample; structural detail is then visualized by vacuum-deposition of platinum-carbon to make a replica for examination in the transmission electron microscope. Additional deep etching of ultra-rapidly frozen samples permits visualization of the surface structure of cells and their components.
Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
The original form of electron microscope, the transmission electron microscope (TEM) uses a high voltage electron beam to create an image. When it emerges from the specimen, the electron beam carries information about the structure of the specimen that is magnified by the objective lens system of the microscope.
Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
Unlike TEM, where electrons of the high voltage beam carry the image of the specimen, the electron beam of the scanning electron microscope (SEM) does not at any time carry a complete image of the specimen; it provide signals carrying information about the properties of the specimen surface, such as its topography and composition.