One of the drawbacks of several analytical tools such as X-Ray Microscopy, Low Energy X-Ray fluorescence, but also Infra Red spectroscopy, is that samples must be kept at least dry, or in the worst case scenario, they must be made vacuum-compatible. This is particularly acute for cultured cells in particular. Also, the in-operando studies of chemical reactions in aqueous solutions are, for all practical purposes, simply not possible using standard sample holders and substrates.
Here we present some preliminary fabrication and test results about a novel concept for a re-usable wet cell, tightly integrated with its multi-purpose sample holder. Our solution is based on custom-made silicon nitride membranes, separated by a calibrated polymer spacer. The membranes and the sample holder are designed to be vacuum compatible, with the added ability to provide microfluidic port for flowing liquids, as well access for electrical signals.