Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 5
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Kennedy, Eamonn Nelson, Edward M. Tanaka, Tetsuya Damiano, John and Timp, Gregory 2016. Live Bacterial Physiology Visualized with 5 nm Resolution Using Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy. ACS Nano, Vol. 10, Issue. 2, p. 2669.

    García-Negrete, C. A. Jiménez de Haro, M. C. Blasco, J. Soto, M. and Fernández, A. 2015. STEM-in-SEM high resolution imaging of gold nanoparticles and bivalve tissues in bioaccumulation experiments. The Analyst, Vol. 140, Issue. 9, p. 3082.

    de Jonge, Niels Pfaff, Marina and Peckys, Diana B. 2014.

    Schuh, Tobias and de Jonge, Niels 2014. Liquid scanning transmission electron microscopy: Nanoscale imaging in micrometers-thick liquids. Comptes Rendus Physique, Vol. 15, Issue. 2-3, p. 214.

    Wang, Chen-Hao Hsu, Hsin-Cheng and Wang, Kai-Ching 2014. Iridium-decorated Palladium–Platinum core–shell catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol. 427, p. 91.


The Probe Profile and Lateral Resolution of Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy of Thick Specimens

  • Hendrix Demers (a1), Ranjan Ramachandra (a2), Dominique Drouin (a1) and Niels de Jonge (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 08 May 2012

Lateral profiles of the electron probe of scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) were simulated at different vertical positions in a micrometers-thick carbon sample. The simulations were carried out using the Monte Carlo method in CASINO software. A model was developed to fit the probe profiles. The model consisted of the sum of a Gaussian function describing the central peak of the profile and two exponential decay functions describing the tail of the profile. Calculations were performed to investigate the fraction of unscattered electrons as a function of the vertical position of the probe in the sample. Line scans were also simulated over gold nanoparticles at the bottom of a carbon film to calculate the achievable resolution as a function of the sample thickness and the number of electrons. The resolution was shown to be noise limited for film thicknesses less than 1 μm. Probe broadening limited the resolution for thicker films. The validity of the simulation method was verified by comparing simulated data with experimental data. The simulation method can be used as quantitative method to predict STEM performance or to interpret STEM images of thick specimens.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author. E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Z. Czyzewski , D.O.N. MacCullum , A. Romig & D.C. Joy (1990). Calculation of Mott scattering cross section. J Appl Phys 68(7), 30663072.

N. de Jonge , D.B. Peckys , G.J. Kremers & D.W. Piston (2009). Electron microscopy of whole cells in liquid with nanometer resolution. PNAS 106, 21592164.

N. de Jonge , N. Poirier-Demers , H. Demers , D.B. Peckys & D. Drouin (2010). Nanometer-resolution electron microscopy through micrometers-thick water layers. Ultramicroscopy 110, 11141119.

P. Doig & P. Flewitt (1982). The detection of monolayer grain boundary segregations in steels using STEM-EDS X-ray microanalysis. Metall Mater Trans A 13, 13971403.

P. Doig , D. Lonsdale & P. Flewitt (1981). X-ray microanalysis of grain boundary segregations in steels using the scanning transmission electron microscope. Metall Mater Trans A 12, 12771282.

P. Gentsch , H. Gilde & L. Reimer (1974). Measurement of the top bottom effect in scanning transmission electron microscopy of thick amorphous specimens. J Microsc 100, 8192.

T. Groves (1975). Thick specimens in the CEM and STEM. Resolution and image formation. Ultramicroscopy 1(1), 1531.

E. Hall , D. Imeson & J.B.V. Sande (1981). On producing high-spatial-resolution composition profiles via scanning transmission electron microscopy. Philos Mag A 43, 15691585.

J.K. Hyun , P. Ercius & D.A. Muller (2008). Beam spreading and spatial resolution in thick organic specimens. Ultramicroscopy 109, 17.

J. Loos , E. Sourty , K. Lu , B. Freitag , D. Tang & D. Wall (2009). Electron tomography on micrometer-thick specimens with nanometer resolution. Nano Lett 9, 17041708.

J.R. Michael & D.B. Williams (1987). A consistent definition of probe size and spatial resolution in the analytical electron microscope. J Microsc 147, 289303.

A. Miyazawa , Y. Fujiyoshi & N. Unwin (2003). Structure and gating mechanism of the acetylcholine receptor pore. Nature 423, 949.

R. Ramachandra , H. Demers & N. de Jonge (2011). Atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy through 50 nm-thick silicon nitride membranes. Appl Phys Lett 98, 93109-1–3.

S.J.B. Reed (1982). The single-scattering model and spatial resolution in X-ray analysis of thin foils. Ultramicroscopy 7, 405410.

P. Rez (1983). A transport equation theory of beam spreading in the electron microscope. Ultramicroscopy 12, 2938.

A. Rose (1948a). The sensitivity performance of the human eye on an absolute scale. J Opt Soc Am 38, 196208.

F. Salvat , A. Jablonski & C.J. Powell (2005). ELSEPA—Dirac partial-wave calculation of elastic scattering of electrons and positrons by atoms, positive ions and molecules. Comput Phys Commun 165, 157190.

A.A. Sousa , M. Hohmann-Marriott , M.A. Aronova , G. Zhang & R.D. Leapman (2008). Determination of quantitative distributions of heavy-metal stain in biological specimens by annular dark-field STEM. J Struct Biol 162, 1428.

A.A. Sousa , M.F. Hohmann-Marriott , G. Zhang & R.D. Leapman (2009). Monte Carlo electron-trajectory simulations in bright-field and dark-field STEM: Implications for tomography of thick biological sections. Ultramicroscopy 109, 213221.

D.B. Williams , J.R. Micheal , J.I. Goldstein & A.D. Romig Jr. (1992). Definition of the spatial resolution of X-ray microanalysis in thin foils. Ultramicroscopy 47, 121132.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Microscopy and Microanalysis
  • ISSN: 1431-9276
  • EISSN: 1435-8115
  • URL: /core/journals/microscopy-and-microanalysis
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *