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Efficient diffractive phase optics for electrons



Tyler R. Harvey, Jordan S. Pierce, Amit Agrawal, Benjamin McMorran, Peter Ercius, Martin Linck


Electron diffraction gratings can be used to imprint well-defined phase structure onto an electron beam. For example, diffraction gratings have been used to prepare electron beams with unique phase dislocations, such as electron vortex beams, which hold promise for the development of new imaging and spectroscopy techniques for the study of materials. However, beam intensity loss associated with absorption, scattering, and diffraction by a binary transmission grating drastically reduces the current in the beam, and thus the possible detected signal strength it may generate. Here we describe electron-transparent phase gratings that efficiently diffract transmitted electrons. These phase gratings produce electron beams with the high current necessary to generate detectable signal upon interaction with a material. The phase grating design detailed here allows for fabrication of much more complex grating structures with extremely fine features. The diffracted beams produced by these gratings are widely separated and carry the designed phase structure with high fidelity. In this work, we outline a fabrication method for high-efficiency electron diffraction gratings and present measurements of the performance of a set of simple prototypical gratings in a transmission electron microscope. We present a model for electron diffraction gratings that can be used to optimize the performance of diffractive electron optics. We also present several new holograms that utilize manipulation of phase to produce new types of highly efficient electron beams.
New Journal of Physics


Electron beams, Transmission electron microscopy, Scanning electron microscopy, Beam optics, Gratings


Harvey, T. , Pierce, J. , Agrawal, A. , McMorran, B. , Ercius, P. and Linck, M. (2014), Efficient diffractive phase optics for electrons, New Journal of Physics, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created August 31, 2014, Updated October 12, 2021