Negative stain

Merit Badge 1

Category: Sample preparation
Sub-category: Room temperture work

This merit badge covers negative stain for macromolecular characterization.

Theoretical background

Knowledge of the workflow


Specific safety SOPs for this merit badge.

NYSBC SOP for working with negative stains

For general safety information see the SOPs in the right bar.

Vendor product information

Chemicals for Electron Microscopy

EMS Diasum
Ted Pella

Theoretical knowledge

Curriculum development partner modules

CryoEM101 – Chapter 1: Sample purification [Section 5: Negative stain TEM]

Useful papers

Negative Staining and Image Classification – Powerful Tools in Modern Electron Microscopy

Center specific guidelines

NCCAT SOP for Negative Stain EM

Knowledge test

A pass/fail test

The knowledge assessment test primarily covering a safety quiz will be given and may be updated regularly. If a user has earned the merit badge and policies have been updated, then an updated information sheet would have to be reviewed ahead of doing cryogenic work at the center.


Center staff training

The workflow demonstration should be scheduled with center staff through the NCCAT User Office or your appointed user coordinator.


Supervised and unsupervised practice by the user

Center staff will assist in arranging dedicated time slots for access to the necessary equipment. Registered users will be issued scheduler accounts through the NCCAT User Office.

Practical test

Two (2) separate center staff observing your proficiency at separate times

Center staff will assist in arranging dedicated time slots for access to the necessary equipment. Appointments may be made through the NCCAT User Office.

Additional information

Recertification period

  • Sample preparation merit badges for room temperature work are valid for ~1yr.
  • Recertification (to maintain active status) would entail demonstrating proper use and care in front of a center staff member.

General NYSBC/NCCAT safety SOPs

Furthering your knowledge

Making different support films


Making negative stain