Methods & Instrumentation

Our group is equipped with a Confocal Raman microscope (alpha300RA, WITec, Germany), optimized for imaging biological materials and combined with an Atomic Force Microscope AFM. Two laserlines (532 and 785nm) are available as well as two spectrometers and CCD cameras optimized for the two wavelength to enable high quality Raman imaging.

Confocal Raman Microscope (CRM) WiTec Alpha 300 AR+ Sketch: a) Pieco scan stage b) Turret with objectives (x20air x20water; x100air; x100oil; x63water); c) laser (532nm or 785nm); d) Multi-mode optical fibre (d=50mm) e) Turret with two gratings (600 or 1800g/mm) f) Spectrometer g) CCD Camera

Furthermore we work with an Infrared Microscope (Hyperion 2000, Bruker, USA) with Transmission, Reflection and ATR-Objective.

Bruker Hyperion 2000 & Vertex 70








For sample preparation, we use a Cryostat (LEICA CM 3050 S),  particularly when working with delicate specimens – for example fresh wood samples (cambial zone), roots, seeds and grasses – the temperature regulation tool (chamber and specimen holder separately), the precise specimen orientation and the specimen feed system guarantees reproducible, thin, serial sections of maximum quality. When harder or bigger samples are needed, we use a Rotary Micortome (LEICA RM 2255), which is designed for fully motorized sectioning of native samples, paraffin and resin-embedded specimens, Its two-in-one design concept, which allows motorized and manual sectioning, provides reproducible high-quality sections.

Sample preparation: 1) Cryostat LEICA CM 3050 S; 2) Rotary microtome LEICA RM 2255

Moreover, the Institute for Biophysics provides a complete research infrastructure with five high-technology laboratories which include the most important equipment for our projects:

  • Confocal laser scanning microscopy (Model Zeiss LSM510 Meta).
  • Transmission electron microscope (TEM), JEOL JEM-2100F (Model EM-20014).
  • Scanning electron microscope (SEM), (Model FEI INSPECT S50).
  • NanoScope IIIa STM (Model MS-10, Bruker, Santa Barbara, CA).
  • Nanoscope V Multimode AFM (Bruker, Santa Barbara, USA).
  • NanoWizard II NanoScience AFM (JPK Instruments AG, Berlin, Germany).
  • Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (Q-sense E4, Gothenburg, Sweden).
  • Zetasizer Nano ZS (Malvern Instruments Ltd, UK).
  • UV/Vis Perkin Elmer spectrometer (Model LS55).

Sample holders

We use custom-built sample holders, which we design by ourselves and which are printed out in the BOKU 3D-printing facility. A selection of our clamps and bowls is shown here.