Scanning Electron Microscopes: Is High Resolution Possible?

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Science  11 Nov 1966:
Vol. 154, Issue 3750, pp. 729-738
DOI: 10.1126/science.154.3750.729


Experiments with this scanning microscope have produced extremely encouraging results so that we feel Confident in predicting high resolution and high contrast after some obvious modifications are made in the system, such as providing a good objective lens. Experience with conventional lenses indicates that the instrument behaves in a predictable manner and there is no reason to doubt that the resolution can be as good as that of a conventional microscope. The use of quadrupole lenses will depend on calculations now being performed. There is cause for optimism; high resolution may also be possible with this kind of lens. Experience with field emission shows that the technology is not difficult and that there is more than enough current available for any conceivable use. Energy-loss measurements have been made on a variety of materials. It is attractive to consider the possibility of chemical analysis of selected areas of a specimen. We believe that a very crude form of analysis may indeed be possible. The principal advantage of the use of energy-loss techniques, however, may be in the availability of another contrast mechanism. The ability to "see" small details may be considerably enhanced. Finally, we are experimenting with the possibility of using transmitted electrons of different energy losses to produce different colors on a color television display. This should add an extra element to the picture contrast which may be of some value.