Scanning force microscopy and cryo-electron microscopy of tobacco mosaic virus as a test specimen

Frederic Zenhausern, M. Adrian, R. Emch, M. Taborelli, M. Jobin, P. Descouts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


In this study, tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) provides a resolution criterion for specimen preparation methods as well as for imaging parameters of the scanning force microscope (SFM). We present scanning force microscopic images of the virus embedded in 0.5% buffered phosphotungstic acid solution adsorbed on a freshly cleaved mica surface, and imaged under atmospheric conditions. Individual TMV particles were clearly identified with a characteristic shape of long rods of about 300 nm long and 60-70 nm in apparent width due to the geometric parameters of the tip. The structure of the virus was compared with cryo-electron microscopic data of vitrified suspensions observed to a resolution of 1.15 nm. Uncoated TMV particles were also deposited on evaporated titanium thin films and imaged by SFM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1168-1172
Number of pages5
Issue numberPART 2
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation

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