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Do Scanning Electron Microscopes have a point-spread function?

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The resolution of diffraction-limited imaging instruments like Telescopes and (wide-field) Light Microscopes is fundamentally linked to the image these systems produce of point-like objects, the so-called point spread function (psf). Both Astronomy and Biology have profited greatly from methods that try to enhance image quality by de-convolving this function out of images.

While Electron Microscope (EM) images look very similar to conventional light microscope images at first glance and the existence of a psf for EMs is often implicitly assumed, it is not clear a priori whether the imaging defects of EMs can be described by a linear filter (i.e. a psf). Monte-Carlo simulations of small, strongly scattering spheres in a bulk of weakly scattering material give an insight into the formation of single pixels in EM images and may help to enhance their quality.

This talk is part of the Inference Group series.

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