In electrostatic charged particle lens design, optimization of a multi-electrode lens with many free optimization parameters is still quite a challenge. A fully automated optimization routine is not yet available, mainly because the lens potential calculations are often done with very time-consuming methods that require meshing of the lens space. A new method is proposed that improves on the low speed of the potential calculation while keeping the high accuracy of the mesh-based calculation methods. This is done by first using a fast potential calculation based on the so-called Second-Order Electrode Method (SOEM), at the cost of losing some accuracy, and then using a Genetic Algorithm (GA) for the optimization. Then, by using the parameters of the approximate systems found from this optimization based on SOEM, an accurate GA optimization routine is performed based on potential calculation with the commercial finite element package COMSOL. A six-electrode electrostatic lens was optimized accurately within a few hours, using all lens dimensions and electrode voltages as free parameters and the focus position and maximum allowable electric fields between electrodes as constraints.
- genetic algorithms (GAs)
- Multi-electrode lens design
- second-order electrode method (SOEM)