2006 Volume 2 Pages 35-43
Presented is an evaluation of phase contrast techniques in transmission electron microscopy. The traditional defocus phase contrast is compared to two recently developed phase plate techniques. One is the Zernike phase contrast transmission electron microscope, the other is the Hilbert differential contrast thransmission electron microscope. The imaging characteristics of each technique are discussed. Phase plate techniques provide improved contrast for ice-embedded biological samples which are a challenge for the conventional defocus phase contrast. The flat spectral response of the Zernike and Hilbert modes extends towards the low frequencies which are severely suppressed in the conventional defocus mode. Target applications for each of the phase contrast techniques are discussed based on the specifics of image formation and spectral transfer.