Ultimate resolution limits for scanning electron microscope immersion objective lenses

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This paper sets out to establish resolution limits for electron objective immersion lenses that can be used for high resolution scanning electron microscopy. On-axis aberration coefficients, both spherical (Cs ) and chromatic (Cc ), are calculated for immersion lenses that are: purely magnetic, of the electric retarding field type, and that have mixed electric-magnetic fields. The aperture lens model is used to derive a general framework by which these lenses can be compared. Simulation results show that the mixed field electric-magnetic immersion lens is expected to provide the best image resolution. For a primary beam landing energy of 1 keV, and for field strength limits set by magnetic saturation and vacuum electrical field breakdown, the lowest on-axis aberration coefficients predicted for this lens lie between 50 μm to 60 μm.

Keywords: Low voltage scanning electron microscopy

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1078/003040202400306871

Affiliations: Department of Electrical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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