Hollow cone illumination for fast TEM, and outrunning damage with electrons

John Spence, G. Subramanian, P. Musumeci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We consider the possibility of imaging individual bioparticles using snapshot diffraction from femotsecond pulses, using a 3 MeV electron beam, based on the recent experimental performance of these coherent beams. Assuming that radiation damage can be outrun using 100 fs pulses (or less), we find that a sufficient number of electrons are scattered per particle only if the beam diameter can be matched to that of the particle (e.g. a virus), about three orders of magnitude smaller than has currently been demonstrated (and limited by space-charge effects). We then propose the use of the hollow-cone illumination mode for fast transmission electron microscope imaging, because it can provide full-field atomic resolution imaging despite the use of the large incoherent annular source required for an efficient photocathode, so that coherent illumination is not needed for high-resolution imaging. Reciprocity arguments are used to compare this full-field mode with data aquisition times and source brightness in scanning transmission electron microscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number214003
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number21
StatePublished - Sep 23 2015


  • fast imaging
  • femtosecond electron beams
  • radiation damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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