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We report on the automatic alignment of a transmission electron microscope equipped with an orbital angular momentum sorter using a convolutional neural network. The neural network is able to control all relevant parameters of both the electron-optical setup of the microscope and the external voltage source of the sorter without input from the user. It can compensate for mechanical and optical misalignments of the sorter, in order to optimize its spectral resolution. The alignment is completed over a few frames and can be kept stable by making use of the fast fitting time of the neural network.
Multilayers that comprise thin films of heavy metals and ferromagnets have been shown to host Néel-type magnetic skyrmions at room temperature. Fresnel defocus imaging in Lorentz transmission electron microscopy is a widely used technique for recording magnetic information about skyrmions. However, the visibility of Néel-type skyrmions in Fresnel defocus images is typically low, both because only a small component of their magnetic field contributes to the signal and because of the presence of diffraction contrast from the polycrystalline multilayer structure. Here, we take advantage of the out-of-plane hysteresis in such samples to record background-subtracted Fresnel defocus images. We demonstrate an improvement in magnetic signal-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution by a factor of 3 for a (Pt/Co/NiFe)×5 multilayer. We also use simulated Fresnel defocus images of Néel-type magnetic skyrmions to understand the influence of defocus on apparent skyrmion size.
This paper reports on the substantial improvement of specimen quality by use of a low voltage (0.05 to ~1 keV), small diameter (~1 μm), argon ion beam following initial preparation using conventional broad-beam ion milling or focused ion beam. The specimens show significant reductions in the amorphous layer thickness and implanted artifacts. The targeted ion milling controls the specimen thickness according to the needs of advanced aberration-corrected and/or analytical transmission electron microscopy applications.