Grid Clipping

Category: Sample preparation
Sub-category: Cryogenic work

Autoloader grid handling including clipping, loading, recovery, cassette care and nanocab care.

Knowledge of the workflow

Vendor product information

Autoloader compatible TEMs:  TFS TEM product page.

Theoretical knowledge

General SOP

Digital version

Printable version

A pass/fail test

The knowledge assessment test primarily  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.

Here is the current quiz draft:

Take the AutoGrid Clipping Quiz

Center staff training

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


  • NCCAT specific procedures – Grid Clipping
  • PNCC specific procedures – Grid Clipping
  • S2C2 specific procedures – Grid Clipping

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.

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

Center staff will assist in arranging time for access to the necessary equipment and testing for independence. The practical test can not be scheduled during the same session as supervised practice.

A grid clipping checklist will be used by the certifying staff to test for proper use of the instrument with a pass/fail outcome. All steps on the checklist must be performed to pass. You may use any instructions normally posted as a guide during the session.

Additional information:

Recertification period

  • Sample preparation merit badges for cryogenic work are valid for ~6mo.
  • Recertification (to maintain active status) requires demonstrating proper use and care in front of a center staff member.