Cryogenic sample preparation laboratory (Lcrio)

The cryogenic sample preparation laboratory (LCRIO) aims to support the preparation of soft and biological materials at room temperature and at low temperatures (-20°C to -190°C), to preserve their native structure and composition during the Sirius’ beamlines experiments. The LCRIO is located on axis 40, along the Cateretê beamline.

The LCRIO has equipment that allows users to section, extract and vitrify samples on a micrometric scale, at room temperature, and at low temperatures.


Coordination: Carla Cristina Polo

Tel.: +55 19 3512 5193

E-mail: carla.polo@lnls.br


LCRIO has sample cutting/sectioning and manipulation tools for nano-tomography and nano-spectroscopy experiments.

Semiautomatic rotary microtome (Leica HistoCore Autocut)

Allows sectioning at room temperature, ranging from 0.5 and 500 µm in thickness, from samples embedded in solid media such as paraffins and resins.

It has support for stainless steel and glass knives.

Access specifications here.

Laser microdissection microscope (Leica LMD7)

Allows to cut and extract micro-fragments including soft materials (i.e. cells, plant tissues, polymers) to harder materials (i.e. thin metallic plates).

In addition, it is an optical microscope with brightfield, polarized light, DIC and fluorescence capabilities.

Access specifications here.

Stereo microscope (Olympus SZ61)

Having a long working distance, it allows the visualization and, at the same time, the manipulation of microsamples, either for manual cutting or for transferring to different substrates.


Radiation damage is an intrinsic phenomenon resulting from the interaction between soft matter and X-rays, and sample preservation at low temperatures (below -20°C) is mandatory to collect reliable and high-resolution data.

Manual cryostat (Leica CM1860 UV)

Allows sectioning at temperatures down to -30°C, between 0.5 and 500 µm thick of samples embedded in cryoprotectant solution (i.e. OCT, glycerol, glucose, etc.)

Access specifications here.

Plunge-freezer (EMS-002)

Allows rapid freezing of microsamples on specific substrates used at the beamlines. Operates with propane/ethane at liquid nitrogen temperatures (-190°C) and allows to achieve freezing in an amorphous ice state of samples up to ~15 µm thick, avoiding the formation of crystalline ice.

Access specifications here.


In addition, the LCRIO has a fume hood for chemical manipulations, a refrigerator with a freezer (4°C and -20°C), and a nitrogen reservoir (Dewar) (-190°C) for the temporary storage of samples.