We experimentally examined the characteristics of bright-field (BF) scanning confocal electron microscopy (SCEM) images by changing the observation conditions and comparing the images with those obtained by BF transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and BF scanning TEM (STEM) modes. The observation of 5-nm-diameter Au nanoparticles demonstrated that BF-SCEM produces object elongation of more than 2000 nm along the optical axis, as do BF-TEM and BF-STEM. We demonstrated the relationship between elongation length and geometric effects such as convergence and collection angles of a probe and the lateral size of an object; the relationship is consistent with previous theoretical prediction. Further, we observed interesting features that are seen only in the BF-SCEM images; the film contrast was strongly enhanced, compared with that of BF-STEM. In addition, a bright contrast appeared around the object position in the elongated images. Using this characteristic, we could determine the object position and structure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas