Optical STEM detection for scanning electron microscopy

Arent J. Kievits*, B. H.Peter Duinkerken, Job Fermie, Ryan Lane, Ben N.G. Giepmans, Jacob P. Hoogenboom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recent advances in electron microscopy techniques have led to a significant scale up in volumetric imaging of biological tissue. The throughput of electron microscopes, however, remains a limiting factor for the volume that can be imaged in high resolution within reasonable time. Faster detection methods will improve throughput. Here, we have characterized and benchmarked a novel detection technique for scanning electron microscopy: optical scanning transmission electron microscopy (OSTEM). A qualitative and quantitative comparison was performed between OSTEM, secondary and backscattered electron detection and annular dark field detection in scanning transmission electron microscopy. Our analysis shows that OSTEM produces images similar to backscattered electron detection in terms of contrast, resolution and signal-to-noise ratio. OSTEM can complement large scale imaging with (scanning) transmission electron microscopy and has the potential to speed up imaging in single-beam scanning electron microscope.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113877
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2024


  • Electron detection
  • Instrumentation development
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Scanning transmission electron microscopy
  • Volume electron microscopy

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