Ray Diagrams

SEM Ray Diagrams

Ray Diagram These schematics show the ray traces for two probe-forming lens focusing conditions: small working distance (left) and large working distance (right). Both conditions have the same condenser lens strength and aperture size. However, as the sample is moved further from the lens, the following occurs:


  • the working distance S is increased
  • the demagnification decreases
  • the spot size increases
  • the divergence angle alpha is decreased

The decrease in demagnification is obtained when the lens current is decreased, which in turn increases the focal length f of the lens. The resolution of the specimen is decreased with an increased working distance, because the spot size is increased. Conversely, the depth of field is increased with an increased working distance, because the divergence angle is smaller.