Convenient contrast enhancement by a hole-free phase plate

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2012

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Decrease of the irradiation dose needed to obtain a desired signal-to-noise ratio can be achieved by Zernike phase-plate imaging. Here we present results on a hole-free phase plate (HFPP) design that uses the incident electron beam to define the center of the plate, thereby eliminating the need for high precision alignment and with advantages in terms of ease of fabrication. The Zernike-like phase shift is provided by a charge distribution induced by the primary beam, rather than by a hole in the film. Compared to bright-field Fresnel-mode imaging, the hole-free phase plate (HFPP) results in two- to four-fold increase in contrast, leading to a corresponding decrease in the irradiation dose required to obtain a desired signal-to-noise ratio. A local potential distribution, developed due to electron beam-induced secondary-electron emission, is the most likely mechanism responsible for the contrast-transfer properties of the HFPP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2012
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 30


  • Phase plate, Transmission electron microscope, Contrast transfer function, Charging, Low dose TEM, Radiation damage, Contrast improvement, Electron beam induced charging, Zernike phase plate, Electron beam induced contamination, Cryo TEM
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ID: 9987729