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Special Issue "Low Voltage Electron Microscopy"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Lawrence F. Drummy

Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, AFRL/RXBN, 2941 Hobson Way, Bldg 654 WPAFB, OH 45433, USA
Phone: +1 937-904-5093
Fax: +1 601-510-2682
Interests: nanocomposites; organic-inorganic interfaces; structural proteins: peptide-material interactions; nanostructured dielectrics; metamaterials; organic electronics; high resolution transmission electron microscopy; analytical electron microscopy; scanning transmission electron microscopy; electron tomography; low voltage electron microscopy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As materials systems become increasingly complex and devices reduce in size, characterization techniques with the ability to directly image materials with high resolution and high contrast are needed. Low voltage electron microscopy has seen tremendous growth in recent years due to its potential to resolve morphological details at the meso-, molecular, and atomic scale. This growth is attributed to increased scattering contrast at low voltage, increased spatial resolution when used in conjunction with certain analytical techniques, and the potential from decreased beam damage from certain classes of materials. As a secondary but important benefit, with reduced voltage typically comes decreased instrument cost and footprint, and increased accessibility for laboratories around the world, thus opening new opportunities.

With new generations of spherical aberration correctors, atomic lattice imaging with a resolution of 2 Å at 20 kV accelerating voltage is now possible. Reduced beam damage and increased contrast are major motivations for this work. In conjunction with the increased scattering contrast associated with imaging at low-voltage, however, comes with an increased severity of beam damage for broad classes of materials (polymers, organic molecular solids, biological materials). As such, electron beam damage will be an important topic in this special issue. This special issue will be open to submissions on both scanning and transmission low voltage electron microscopy, as well as analytical techniques, experimental demonstrations of electron scattering theory and fundamentals, and applications of low voltage electron microscopy.

Dr. Lawrence F. Drummy
Guest Editor


  • Low voltage (LV)
  • LV scanning electron microscopy
  • LV transmission electron microscopy
  • LV scanning transmission electron microscopy
  • X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy
  • electron energy loss spectroscopy
  • electron beam damage

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview Scanning Electron Microscopy with Samples in an Electric Field
Materials 2012, 5(12), 2731-2756; doi:10.3390/ma5122731
Received: 15 August 2012 / Revised: 16 November 2012 / Accepted: 29 November 2012 / Published: 11 December 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3011 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
The high negative bias of a sample in a scanning electron microscope constitutes the “cathode lens” with a strong electric field just above the sample surface. This mode offers a convenient tool for controlling the landing energy of electrons down to units or
[...] Read more.
The high negative bias of a sample in a scanning electron microscope constitutes the “cathode lens” with a strong electric field just above the sample surface. This mode offers a convenient tool for controlling the landing energy of electrons down to units or even fractions of electronvolts with only slight readjustments of the column. Moreover, the field accelerates and collimates the signal electrons to earthed detectors above and below the sample, thereby assuring high collection efficiency and high amplification of the image signal. One important feature is the ability to acquire the complete emission of the backscattered electrons, including those emitted at high angles with respect to the surface normal. The cathode lens aberrations are proportional to the landing energy of electrons so the spot size becomes nearly constant throughout the full energy scale. At low energies and with their complete angular distribution acquired, the backscattered electron images offer enhanced information about crystalline and electronic structures thanks to contrast mechanisms that are otherwise unavailable. Examples from various areas of materials science are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Voltage Electron Microscopy)

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