A new approach for fast field calculation in electrostatic electron lens design and optimization

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In electron optics, calculation of the electric field plays a major role in all computations and simulations. Accurate field calculation methods such as the finite element method (FEM), boundary element method and finite difference method, have been used for years. However, such methods are computationally very expensive and make the computer simulation challenging or even infeasible when trying to apply automated design of electrostatic lens systems with many free parameters. Hence, for years, electron optics scientists have been searching for a fast and accurate method of field calculation to tackle the aforementioned problem in the design and optimization of electrostatic electron lens systems. This paper presents a novel method for fast electric field calculation in electrostatic electron lens systems with reasonably high accuracy to enable the electron-optical designers to design and optimize an electrostatic lens system with many free parameters in a reasonably short time. The essence of the method is to express the off-axis potential in an axially symmetrical coordinate system in terms of derivatives of the axial potential up to the fourth order, and equate this to the potential of the electrode at that axial position. Doing this for a limited number of axial positions, we get a set of equations that can be solved to obtain the axial potential, necessary for calculating the lens properties. We name this method the fourth-order electrode method because we take the axial derivatives up to the fourth order. To solve the equations, a quintic spline approximation of the axial potential is calculated by solving three sets of linear equations simultaneously. The sets of equations are extracted from the Laplace equation and the fundamental equations that describe a quintic spline. The accuracy and speed of this method is compared with other field calculation methods, such as the FEM and second order electrode method (SOEM). The new field calculation method is implemented in design/optimization of electrostatic lens systems by using a genetic algorithm based optimization program for electrostatic lens systems developed by the authors. The effectiveness of this new field calculation method in optimizing optical parameters of electrostatic lens systems is compared with FEM and SOEM and the results are presented. It should be noted that the formulation is derived for general axis symmetrical electrostatic electron lens systems, however the examples shown in this paper are with cylindrical electrodes due to the simplicity of the implementation in the software.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4859
Number of pages21
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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