An adjustable electron achromat for cathode lens microscopy
Chromatic aberration correction in light optics began with the invention of a two-color-corrected achromatic crown/flint lens doublet by Chester Moore Hall in 1730. Such color correction is necessary because any single glass shows dispersion (i.e. its index of refraction changes with wavelength), which can be counteracted by combining different glasses with different dispersions. In cathode lens microscopes (such as Photo Electron Emission Microscopy - PEEM) we encounter a similar situation, where the chromatic aberration coefficient of the cathode lens shows strong dispersion, i.e. depends (non-linearly) on the energy with which the electrons leave the sample. Here I show how a cathode lens in combination with an electron mirror can be configured as an adjustable electron achromat. The lens/mirror combination can be corrected at two electron energies by balancing the settings of the electron mirror against the settings of the cathode lens. The achromat can be adjusted to deliver optimum performance, depending on the requirements of a specific experiment. Going beyond the achromat, an apochromat would improve resolution and transmission by a very significant margin. I discuss the requirements and outlook for such a system, which for now remains a wish waiting for fulfilment.