Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Efficient linear phase contrast in scanning transmission electron microscopy with matched illumination and detector interferometry.


The ability to image light elements in soft matter at atomic resolution enables unprecedented insight into the structure and properties of molecular heterostructures and beam-sensitive nanomaterials. In this study, we introduce a scanning transmission electron microscopy technique combining a pre-specimen phase plate designed to produce a probe with structured phase with a high-speed direct electron detector to generate nearly linear contrast images with high efficiency. We demonstrate this method by using both experiment and simulation to simultaneously image the atomic-scale structure of weakly scattering amorphous carbon and strongly scattering gold nanoparticles. Our method demonstrates strong contrast for both materials, making it a promising candidate for structural determination of heterogeneous soft/hard matter samples even at low electron doses comparable to traditional phase-contrast transmission electron microscopy. Simulated images demonstrate the extension of this technique to the challenging problem of structural determination of biological material at the surface of inorganic crystals.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View