OMNY PIN - A versatile sample holder for tomographic measurements at room and cryogenic temperatures

M. Holler, J. Raabe, R. Wepf, S. H. Shahmoradian, A. Diaz, B. Sarafimov, T. Lachat, H. Walther, M. Vitins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Nowadays ptychographic tomography in the hard x-ray regime, i.e., at energies above about 2 keV, is a well-established measurement technique. At the Paul Scherrer Institut, currently two instruments are available: one is measuring at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, and the other, the so-called OMNY (tOMography Nano crYo) instrument, is operating at ultra-high vacuum and offering cryogenic sample temperatures down to 10 K. In this manuscript, we present the sample mounts that were developed for these instruments. Aside from excellent mechanical stability and thermal conductivity, they also offer highly reproducible mounting. Various types were developed for different kinds of samples and are presented in detail, including examples of how specimens can be mounted on these holders. We also show the first hard x-ray ptychographic tomography measurements of high-pressure frozen biological samples, in the present case Chlamydomonas cells, the related sample pins and preparation steps. For completeness, we present accessories such as transportation containers for both room temperature and cryogenic samples and a gripper mechanism for automatic sample changing. The sample mounts are not limited to x-ray tomography or hard x-ray energies, and we believe that they can be very useful for other instrumentation projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113701
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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