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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 vapour, without downtime for cleaning or the risk of contamination and loss of samples.

The in-chemical vapour 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 vapour control, the system ensures accurate concentrations of chemical vapour 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-vapour processes
  • No cross-contamination between chambers due to post-process flush cycle
  • Automatic vapour delivery ensures reliable and reproducible results
  • Purge cycles reduce water vapour and oxygen concentrations, ensuring excellent yield of specifically orientated macromolecules
  • Adjustable slow vent time to minimise sample disturbance
  • Optional fast vent for rapid process times
  • Safe handling of reagent
  • Three level adjustable height sample stage ensures repeatable results

Recommended applications: 
• Hydrophilisation and cleaning of TEM grids carbon support films* for better sample
• 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
  • Automatic control of vapour and air introduction
  • Flush and purge cycles of vapour chamber and gas line
  • Two chambers for separate in-air and in-vapour processes without contamination* * Only one chamber can be used at a time
  • 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 vapour delivery using septum-sealed vials
  • Automatic valving between chambers to prevent cross-contamination
  • Fast and/or soft venting options
  • Extended warranty option
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The GloQube® Plus is a cost-effective, compact and easy to use glow discharge system, designed to fulfil the needs of laboratories with TEM.

 Surface state     Charge       Atmosphere     Typical applications    
 Hydrophilic  Negative  Air  Hydrophilisation and cleaning of carbon coated TEM grids
 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 utilising purge and flush cycles, we ensure contamination from the vapour chamber* does not affect the in-air chamber.

* For health and safety reasons when using the in-vapour 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 vapour 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

This product is for Research Use Only. 

28096 -  GloQube Plus 

Vacuum pumping

13034 5 m3/hr Pfeiffer DUO 6 two-stage rotary vacuum pump with O7803 oil mist filter

O7803 Oil mist filter (spare)

Options, accessories and spares

028273.  Grid Holder 36

25195. Microscope slide tray

25266. Glass vial (packet of 10)

25267. Glass vial caps (packet of three)

25345. Needle

24755. Door seal



28673 -  VIAL SEALING WASHER, Ø22.5mm O/D x Ø10mm I/D x 1mm THICK, VITON



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 – vapour  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”) 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 fast or slow vent options to minimise sample disturbance                                         
 On-board reagent storage

 Reagents are contained in sealed glass vials to minimise 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 down 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

  • 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

Dimensions and communications

Note: the pump data is for the Pfeiffer DUO 6

Instrument size/weight
 366 mm W x 364 mm D x 336 mm D   19.4 kg        
 Pump weight
 391 mm W x 127 mm D x 177 mm H16 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