Quantitative phase-amplitude microscopy II: differential interference contrast imaging for biological TEM Academic Article uri icon


  • Although phase contrast microscopy is widespread in optical microscopy, it has not been as widely adopted in transmission electron microscopy (TEM), which has therefore to a large extent relied on staining techniques to yield sufficient contrast. Those methods of phase contrast that are used in biological electron microscopy have been limited by factors such as the need for small phase shifts in very thin samples, the requirement for difficult experimental conditions, or the use of complex data analysis methods. We here demonstrate a simple method for quantitative TEM phase microscopy that is suitable for large phase shifts and requires only two images. We present a TEM phase image of unstained Radula sp. (liverwort spore). We show how the image may be transformed into the differential interference contrast image format familiar from optical microscopy. The phase images contain features not visible with the other imaging modalities. The resulting technique should permit phase contrast TEM to be performed almost as readily as phase contrast optical microscopy.


publication date

  • June 26, 2002