Summary

Recent instrumental developments have enabled greatly improved resolution of scanning transmission electron microscopes (STEM) through aberration correction. An additional and previously unanticipated advantage of aberration correction is the largely improved depth sensitivity that has led to the reconstruction of a three-dimensional (3D) image from a focal series.

In this chapter the potential of aberration-corrected 3D STEM to provide major improvements in the imaging capabilities for biological samples will be discussed. This chapter contains a brief overview of the various high-resolution 3D imaging techniques, a historical perspective of the development of STEM, first estimates of the dose-limited axial and lateral resolution on biological samples and initial experiments on stained thin sections.

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