The coherence of an electron beam is crucial for the performance of electron microscopy, coherent diffractive imaging, holography, and many other advanced instrumentation methods that rely on the phase coherence of electron waves. Here we present a reliable method for preparing a niobium nanoemitter, which is thermally and chemically stable. The tip apex is a (100) facet with a lateral dimension of ∼1 nm, surrounded by four (310) facets. Adsorption of one monolayer of noble gas, particularly Xe, onto the nanoemitter greatly enhances the emission current and current stability. This electron source will probably possess both spatial and temporal coherence if the emitter is cooled below the superconducting temperature.
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