GloQube® Plus Glow Discharge System for TEM Grids and Surface Modification

The GloQube Plus is a cost-effective, compact and easy to use glow discharge system, designed to fulfil the needs of laboratories with TEM.

The primary application of the GloQube Plus is to modify the surface of TEM grids in a way that it meets requirements for successful imaging of a variety of macromolecules. Integrated into one system, the two chambers enable the user maximum flexibility to choose which sample preparation technique they want to use: glow discharge in-air or in-chemical vapor, without downtime for cleaning or the risk of contamination and loss of samples.

The in-chemical vapor glow discharge doesn't just help with retaining molecules on the TEM grids, but it also allows the user to control the orientation and conformation. With automatic vapor control, the system ensures accurate concentrations of chemical vapor in the plasma, producing reliable and reproducible results. Two chambers designed into one easy to use package provides a smaller footprint for the workflow space and no cross-contamination between the chambers.


  • Short in-air cycle time
  • Second chamber for separating in-air and in-vapor processes
  • No cross-contamination between chambers due to post-process flush cycle
  • Automatic vapor delivery ensures reliable and reproducible results
  • Purge cycles reduce water vapor and oxygen concentrations, ensuring excellent yield of specifically orientated macromolecules
  • Adjustable slow vent time to minimize sample disturbance
  • Optional fast vent for rapid process times
  • Safe handling of reagent
  • Three level adjustable height sample stage ensures repeatable results


  • Hydrophilization and cleaning of TEM grids carbon support films* for better sample spreading
  • Improved adhesion and orientation of proteins, nucleic acids and antibodies
  • TEM grid preparation for nanoparticle studies
    * Typically: Formvar®, Lacey Carbon, Holey Carbon, Continuous Carbon, Quantifoil®

Key Features

Glow discharge treatment for electron microscopy sample preparation

  • Automatic control of vapor and air introduction
  • Flush and purge cycles of vapor chamber and gas line
  • Two chambers for separate in-air and in-vapor processes without contamination*
  • Fully automatic
  • Loaded with typical standard recipes
  • Password protected user profiles and programmable user recipes
  • Negative and positive discharge modes
  • Single door for easy sample loading
  • Adjustable three height sample stage
  • Intuitive touch screen control
  • Safe vapor delivery using septum-sealed vials
  • Automatic valving between chambers to prevent cross-contamination
  • Fast and/or soft venting options
  • Extended warranty option
    * Only one chamber can be used at a time
Glow Discharge Process
Surface State Charge Atmosphere Hydrophilization and cleaning of carbon coated TEM grids
Hydrophilic Negative Air Nucleic acid adhesion to carbon films
Hydrophilic Positive Air* Nucleic acid adhesion to carbon films
Hydrophobic** Positive Alkylamine Controlled orientation and improved adhesion of negatively charged proteins, antibodies and nucleic acids
Hydrophobic** Negative Methanol Controlled orientation and improved adhesion of positively charged protein molecules (e.g. ferritin, cytochrome c)

* Air followed by post-treatment with magnesium acetate by the user.
** Hydrophobic, as noted above, may represent a less hydrophilic sample of less than 90 degrees contact angle.

Twin chambers prevent cross contamination

The GloQube Plus uses a single door with two independent vacuum chambers and adjustable sample stages. The in-air chamber is for simple glow discharge hydrophilic applications, while the in-vapour chamber is designed for hydrophobic (negative or positive) conversions, typically using reagents such as methanol and amylamine. By utilizing purge and flush cycles, we ensure contamination from the vapor chamber* does not affect the in-air chamber.
* For health and safety reasons when using the in-vapor chamber with chemicals the pump exhaust must be vented to a suitable external extraction system

Automatic Valve

The automatic valve system allows greater control over the introduction of chemical vapor into the chamber. This results in reproducibility and repeatability of processing. The self-contained nature of the septum-sealed chemical vials and the delivery system ensures minimal user contact and a high level of operator safety.**
** Chemical preparation and disposal should be carried out in a suitable fume hood

Easy sample loading

Each of the twin chambers can accommodate two 25 x 75 mm glass microscope slides or TEM grid holders. Loading could not be easier using a drawer-style chamber door and specimen stages. The stages are height adjustable and fitted with removable glass slide holders. The door and stages can be completely removed for convenience and to allow easy access for chamber cleaning.

Process control

The GloQube Plus is an automated system, which has a recipe driven process control user interface for ease of use. Filtered inlets ensure that delicate samples, such as carbon coated TEM grids, are not contaminated with particles or dust. The GloQube Plus requires a single vacuum pump working in the 0.1 to 1 mbar range and has a typical pump downtime to operational vacuum of 60 seconds and a total cycle time in-air of usually less than two minutes*. A 750 mm flexible stainless vacuum hose is supplied with the GloQube Plus.
* Using a 30 second glow discharge process

Touch screen control – rapid data input, simple operation

New user interface has been extensively updated

  • Capacitive touch screen has improved sensitivity for ease of use
  • User interface software has been completely revised, using a modern smartphone-style interface
  • Comprehensive context-sensitive help screen
  • USB interface allows easy software updates and backing up/copying of recipe files to USB stick
  • Process log files can be exported via USB port in .csv format for analysis in Excel or similar. Log files include date, time and process parameters.
  • 16GB of flash memory can store more than 1000 recipes
  • Dual-core ARM processor for a fast, responsive display


Note: the pump data is for the Pfeiffer DUO 6

Power and Processes
Plasma current 1-50 mA
HV power supply 30 W
Maximum voltage 800 V
Electrode polarity – clean chamber DC glow positive DC glow negative
Electrode polarity – vapor chamber DC glow positive DC glow negative
Sample stage 125 x 100 mm (4.9" x 3.94") for two 25 x 75 mm (1" x 3") glass slides and a 36 place grid holder
Sample stage operational heights Adjustable 12.5 mm (0.5"), 22.5 mm (0.9") or 35 mm (1.38")
Pump hold time 0-72 hours
Process time 1-900 seconds
Chamber vent inlets Filtered air inlets with slow vent options to minimize sample disturbance
On-board reagent storage Reagents are contained in sealed glass vials to minimize exposure to hazards
High voltage safety interlocks Hardware safety interlocked and software for process control
Vacuum control Integrated pirani gauge
Working vacuum range 0.1 to 1 mbar
Pump minimum requirements 5 m3/hr inlet flange: KF 16
Pumping time Typical pump time to an operational vacuum of 0.1 mbar in less than 60 seconds
Vacuum isolation Isolation valves to switch vacuum and prevent process chamber cross-contamination
User Interface
Dimensions and Communications
Instrument size 336 mm H x 364 mm D x 336 mm H
Instrument weight 19.4 kg
Pump* 391 mm W x 127 mm D x 177 mm H
Pump weight 16 kg
Footprint with pump 366 mm W x 600 mm D x 336 mm H
Power requirements 120 V 60 Hz, 15 A or 230 V 50 Hz, 10 A
Instrument power rating 100-240 V AC 60/50 Hz 700 VA including pump, IEC inlet
Pump power rating 115/230 V 60/50 Hz 450 W
Communication port USB Port

*Note: The pump data is for the Pfeiffer DUO 6


Cat # Description Pack Price Quote Quantity
Cat #: EMS-Glo-2 Description: Gloqube® Plus Dual Chamber Glow Discharge System Pack: Each Price: $0.00 Add to Quote:
Cat #: EMS-Glo-11 Description: Microscope Slide Tray Pack: Each Price: $0.00 Add to Quote:
Cat #: EMS-Glo-12 Description: Glass Vials (Pack Of 10) Pack: 10 Pack Price: $0.00 Add to Quote:
Cat #: EMS-Glo-13 Description: Glass Vials (Pack Of 3) Pack: 3 Pack Price: $0.00 Add to Quote:
Cat #: EMS-Glo-14 Description: Needle Pack: Each Price: $0.00 Add to Quote:
Cat #: EMS-Glo-15 Description: Door Seal Pack: Each Price: $0.00 Add to Quote: