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GloQube Glow Discharge System for TEM Grids and Surface Modifications

The GloQube® is a compact, easy-to-use glow discharge system primarily used for the hydrophilisation (wetting) of TEM carbon support films and grids. Other applications include surface modifications, for example for enhancing polymer bonding.
The GloQube has a convenient single drawer with two independent vacuum chambers: a clean chamber for glow discharge applications requiring hydrophobic/hydrophilic conversion and a vapour chamber designed for hydrophilic/hydrophobic (negative or positive) conversions. 
Key features
  • Glow discharge treatment for electron microscopy
  • Fully automatic, short process times
  • Hydrophilic/hydrophobic and negative/positive modes
  • Single drawer with twin chambers
  • Intuitive touch screen control
  • Safe vapour delivery using septum-sealed vials
  • Automatic valving between chambers to prevent cross-contamination
  • Quick and easy sample loading
  • Controlled venting to prevent sample disturbance
  • Extended warranty option and specialist support
Click to download Brochure

The GloQube® is a compact, easy to use, stand-alone glow discharge system. 

The primary application of the GloQube® is the hydrophilisation (wetting) of carbon-coated transmission electron microscopy (TEM) support films and grids which otherwise have the tendency to be hydrophobic. Glow discharge treatment with air will make carbon films and other surfaces negatively charged and hydrophilic and allow the easy spread of aqueous solutions. This and other processes are outlined below.

 Surface state      Charge       Atmosphere      Typical applications    
 Hydrophilic  Negative  Air  Carbon coated TEM grids
 Hydrophilic  Positive  Air with magnesium acetate post-treatment    Nucleic acid adhesion to carbon films
 Hydrophobic  Positive  Alkylamine  Proteins, antibodies and nucleic acids
 Hydrophobic  Negative  Air  Positively charged protein molecules, (e.g. ferritin,
 cytochrome c)

Single drawer, twin chambers

The GloQube uses a single drawer with two independent vacuum chambers: a clean chamber for glow discharge applications requiring hydrophobic/hydrophilic conversion, typically using air as the process gas, and a vapour chamber designed for hydrophilic/hydrophobic (negative or positive) conversions, typically using reagents such as methanol and alkylamine. 

Safe handling of reagents

With operator safety and ease of use firmly in mind, reusable septum-sealed reagent vials are used. Loading and removing reagents is both convenient and reliable and ensures minimal user contact with the reagents.

The vial is located in its holder and inserted into a shielded needle using a simple twist-and-push action.

Easy sample loading, fast turnaround times

Each of the twin chamber can accommodate two 25 x 75 mm glass microscopes slides. Loading could not be easier using draw-style chamber doors and specimen stages. The stages are height adjustable and fitted with removable glass slide holders. 

For convenience and to allow easy access for chamber cleaning,  the stages can be completely removed.

Vacuum, automatic valving and controlled venting

The GloQube has automatic valving between the twin chambers which maintains cleanliness by preventing cross-contamination. At the end of a glow discharge process run, automatic "soft" venting to atmosphere through filtered inlets ensures that delicate samples, such as carbon coated TEM grids, are not disturbed.

The GloQube require a single vacuum pump working in the 0.1 to 1 mbar range. A typical pump time to operational vacuum is 60 seconds. A 750 mm flexible stainless vacuum hose is supplied with the GloQube.

Touch screen control – rapid data input, simple operation

The GloQube® is fully microprocessor controlled via intuitive touch screen allows multiple users to rapidly input and store preferred glow discharge “recipes”. Typical default glow discharge treatment protocols are loaded as standard. Additionally, help files and useful maintenance data such as system on time and time since last clean are readily available to the operator. An Ethernet communications port is included for software updates.

025235 GloQube single drawer, twin chamber glow discharge system

Consisting of:

Single drawer, twin chamber glow discharge system. 025678 accessory kit, including: mains power lead, rotary pump power lead, O7803 oil mist filter and KF16 clamp, 750 mm long flexible stainless steel vacuum tube with clamps, fuses 10 x 025266 glass vials, 3 x vial caps and sealing washers,1 x 025345 needle (spare).

Vacuum pump to be ordered separately.

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

25195. Microscope slide tray

25266. Glass vial (packet of 10)

25267. Glass vial caps (packet of three)

25345. Needle

24755. Door seal


Power and processes:

 Plasma current   1-40 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 
 Sample stage operational heights
 Adjustable 12.5 mm (0.5”), 22.5 mm (0.9”) or 35 mm (1.38”) 
 Pump hold time
 0-24 hours
 Process time
 1-600 seconds


 Chamber vent inlets                          
 Filtered air inlets with slow vent to minimise sample disturbance                                         
 On-board reagent storage

 Reagents are contained in reusable sealed glass vials to minimise exposure to air

 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 
 6 m3/hr, 3600 l/m, 0.03 mbar ultimate vacuum.
 Pumping time  Typical pump time to an operational vacuum of 0.27 mbar in 60 seconds
 Vacuum isolation                            Isolation valves to switch vacuum and prevent process chamber cross-contamination

User interface

 User interface                       
 Full graphical interface with touch screen controls. In addition to displaying  profiles,parameters, help screen and maintenance information are available
 Profiles and profile logging                                                   
 Capability to store 100 user profiles (name, date, time, vacuum, current and polarity)

Dimensions and communications

Note: the pump data is for the Pfeiffer DUO 6

 Chamber size                                  
 100 mm W x 100 mm H x 127 mm D (3.94” x 3.94” x 5”)                                                      
 Instrument size/weight
 336 mm H x 364 mm D x 350 mm W(13.2” x 14.3” x 13.8") 35019.5 kg (42.9 lbs.)        
 Pump size/weight
 391 mm W x 127 mm D x 177 mm H (15.4” x 5” x 7“) 16 kg (35.3 lbs)
 Footprint with pump
 366 mm W x 600 mm D x 336 mm H (14.4” x 23.6” x 13.2“)
 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
 Ethernet port for instrument software updates