Better 3D reconstructions from less data with ultra-stable gold supports for cryo-electron microscopy that reduce the movement of frozen specimens during imaging.

Designed at MRC's Laboratory of Molecular Biology by Dr Christopher J Russo and Dr Lori A Passmore and manufactured exclusively under license by Quantifoil Micro Tools GmbH1, UltrAuFoil® Holey Gold sample supports make structure determination for challenging and small molecules easier.

During imaging at cryogenic temperatures, traditional carbon supports move, particularly at the beginning of irradiation. This movement blurs images and reduces data quality. UltrAuFoil® Holey Gold supports are more conductive, and there is no differential contraction between the grid and the foil on plunge freezing. Therefore there is less crinkling of the foil during sample preparation, resulting in many improvements in data quality:

  • Get the highest resolution data, before your sample accumulates radiation damage by using the first frames in your movies due to reduced beam-induced motion.1,2
  • Increased resolution, by up to 0.5 Å when replacing traditional holey carbon supports with UltrAuFoil®.3
  • Reduced image distortion from the accumulation of static and semi-mobile charge as gold is highly conductive at liquid nitrogen temperatures.1
  • Protect samples from damage due to accumulating positive charge by neutralizing it with secondary electrons generated by irradiating adjacent gold.1
  • Biomolecules retain native structure and are not put under mechanical strain from foil crinkling.
  • Improved particle distribution as the gold foil is even flatter than carbon, and capable of forming the <200 Å ice layers required for ultra-high resolution data collection on smaller molecules.4
  • Easier grid surveying due to the high contrast of the gold foil.1

Additional Ultrathin Carbon Layer

You can improve data quality even further by adding an ultrathin carbon layer (normally 2 nm thick) to UltrAuFoil Holey Gold supports, contact us for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that you may want to know more about these novel supports, so we've provided answers to the most frequently asked questions here. Alternatively, you can consult the original publications1,2 or contact us or your local distributor, we're happy to help with any queries you might have.

Characteristics of UltrAuFoil®

Thickness of gold foil
About 500 Å
Structure of gold foil
Regular square array of micrometer-sized circular holes available geometries: R 0.6/1, R 1.2/1.3, R 2/2 other types on request
TEM grid
Gold 300 mesh
(R 0.6/1 or R 1.2/1.3 geometry)
Gold 200 mesh (R 2/2 geometry)
other grids on request

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