SiN membranes

SiN membranes are ultra-flat, stress optimised and clean support films for TEM applications. Also known as TEM windows, they are ideal for applications such as TEM and STEM imaging of nanoparticles, quantitative carbon analysis, chemical experimentation on the support films, real-time chemical reactions and crystal growth research, thin film research, on-film cell growth and multi-microscopy research techniques.

SiN membranes have the advantage of being chemically inert and mechanically robust, being able to withstand temperatures >1000°C. Compared to standard carbon support films they have greater strength, chemical resistance and provide a carbon-free, low background TEM support film. Our membrane windows can be vigorously plasma cleaned to remove organic contamination. 

  • amorphous, low background, low scattering material
  • high resistance to acids, bases and solvents
  • high temperature resistant to >1000° C
  • carbon free
  • plasma cleanable
  • large viewing area without grid bars
  • clean, ultra-flat membrane surface
  • optimised membrane stress to achieve strength and high planarity
  • ideal support for multi-microscopy techniques such as TEM, SEM, FIB, EDX, Auger, XPS and AFM/SPM

Silicon nitride membranes are manufactured under full clean room conditions using state-of-the-art MEMS technology to produce debris-free, clean and highly planar membranes. Membranes are made by growing a thin SiN film with the desired thickness on a silicon wafer. Windows are then etched into the back of the silicon wafer to fully remove the silicon right up to the SiN layer leaving a robust, thin freestanding membrane spanning the resulting window. The wafer is then cut into frames of a size compatible with the standard 3.05mm TEM grid size.

Membrane thicknesses and window sizes

The standard silicon frame thickness is 200µm, which provide an easy to handle and sturdy support frame. A thinner silicon support frame with 100µm thickness is also available. See the 100µm range here.

Window sizes of 0.1 x 0.1, 0.25 x 0.25, 0.5 x 0.5, 1.0 x1.0 and 0.25 x 1.0mm. 

Available with membrane thicknesses of 10, 20, 30, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200 and 500nm. Please click on the membrane thickness in the table below to see the options and pricing

The choice of SiN membrane thickness and window size is dependent on a number of variables. Thinner membranes (10 -20 nm) are more suitable for higher resolution imaging, while thicker membranes (30-500 nm) are better for demanding sample preparation procedures. It is better to use thicker membranes and smaller window sizes when developing up new methods before moving on to thinner membranes and increasing window size for final imaging.

See also our range of Multi-frame arrays (MFA) for larger areas.

Membrane thickness nm on 200nm frame
Window size 10 20 30 50 75 100 150 200 500
0.1 x 0.1
0.25 x 0.25
0.50 x 0.50
1.0 x 1.0 X
1.0 x 0.25 X

Ordering information:

SiRN membranes

Please selct the membrane thickness, window size and frame thickness from the following options:

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