Available Technology


Current devices for detecting transmitted electrons in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) provide limited angular selectivity and do not enable fine signal selection control in transmission mode. High-end devices enabling better angular selectivity exist, but they are new and the cost of a single detector is often greater than the cost of the microscope itself. Combining this device with an off-the-shelf solid-state detector can enable almost any STEM imaging mode in nearly any SEM for << $1k. The technology is ideal for Microscopists (optical, electron, ion) desiring/requiring comprehensive acceptance angle control.






A modular aperture system has been invented that can be used on almost any imaging system including (but not limited to) light, electron, and ion microscopes. The system enables fine and coarse control over detector acceptance angles and can be configured for bright field, dark field, and combinations of those imaging modes. The system consists of two essential parts: masks and a support frame for holding the mask(s) in a desired location over a detector. Masks are easily interchangeable and can be stacked to enable variable-geometry and adjustable-annulus aperture functionality.


Mask/Aperture concept can be adapted to any STEM detector and the device is portable and can be employed in other devices.

Rice, Katherine P., Keller, Richard, Holm, Jason D.
Patent Number: 
Technology Type(s): 
Advanced Manufacturing Processes, Manufacturing, Electronics, Optical Technology
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
Patent Issue Date: 
May 15, 2018
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