In electron microscopy high-resolution imaging of finest object structures is generally hampered by the influence of aberrations of the lens system, especially the high spherical aberration of the objective lens. The delocalization of contrast details induced by aberrations is especially strong for microscopes equipped with a field emission gun providing a high spatial coherence. in recent years a prototype of an aberration correction system has been constructed by Haider et al., following a suggestion by Rose, consisting of two hexapole elements and four additional round lenses. The correction system was adapted to a Philips CM 200 FEG ST microscope with an information limit of 0.13 nm. The alignment is carried out using aberration measurements deduced from Zemlin tableaus. By appropriately exciting the hexapole elements it is possible to reduce or even fully compensate the spherical aberration of the objective lens.
With the freedom of a variable spherical aberration Cs new operation modes can be accessed that are not available in standard microscopes. with Cs = 0 and defocus Z = 0 pure amplitude contrast occurs, together with a vanishing contrast delocalization; phase contrast with a single, narrow pass-band up to the information limit can still be achieved by Z = ±7 nm, which introduces a delocalization of R = 0.13 nm. with Cs = 97 μm and Z = −18 nm the broad Scherzer pass-band for phase contrast can be extended to the information limit, with R = 0.35 nm. For the CM 200 Cs = 43 fim and Z = −12 nm still produces a high level of phase contrast, comparable with the extended Scherzer pass-band, but with R = 0.08 nm only. in the latter mode Scherzer’s defocus equals Lichte's defocus of least confusion.