Imaging properties of scanning confocal electron microscopy (SCEM) were studied by calculating simple model systems using the multislice method. A simple geometrical explanation was given, particularly for the difference between bright field (BF) and annular dark field (ADF) SCEM. It is demonstrated that the BF-SCEM image contrast consists of two features. One gradually changes over a wide defocus range and depends on the lateral size of the object. Another appears only near the focus and is independent of sample size. On the contrary, ADF-SCEM image contrast does not depend on the lateral size of the object. Therefore, the ADF-SCEM will provide more readily interpretable image contrast.
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