Continuously variable control of illumination intensity in the electron microscope can be achieved by use of photoconductive cells for the grid bias resistance in a self-biased electron gun. The simple, highly stable device consists of several photo cells connected in series facing a control lamp, all positioned in a light-tight compartment. Changing the lamp brightness varies the grid resistance from 500,000 ohms to more than 30 megohms, controlling illuminating beam current over a wide range. Microscope stability is unaffected.
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