We assess a selection of electron probes in terms of the spatial resolution with which information can be derived about the structure of a specimen, as opposed to the nominal image resolution. Using Ge  as a study case, we investigate the scattering dynamics of these probes and determine their relative merits in terms of two qualitative criteria: interaction volume and interpretability. This analysis provides a ‘menu of probes’ from which an optimum probe for tackling a given materials science question can be selected. Hollow cone, vortex and spherical wave fronts are considered, from unit cell to Angstrom size, and for different defocus and specimen orientations.
- Information resolution
- Electron probe