An experimental method that increases the analyzer resolution of cylindrical mirror analyzer CMA-based Auger spectrometers is described. By means of electrically biasing the sample, the effective energy resolution obtainable from the CMA instrument is improved from the native 0.5 to 0.1% or even better for higher kinetic energy Auger transitions. In addition, the maximum kinetic energy Auger transition observable by the CMA Auger instrument is increased from 3200 to 5700 eV, in the current realization. It is also shown that the sensitivity of the energy scale calibration to sample working distance with respect to the analyzer is simultaneously reduced, making the method suitable for chemical surface analysis. The biasing is accomplished using a special sample holder with electronics and software that can be added to an existing instrument. The overall capability of the Auger instrument for chemical analysis is, therefore, increased, while preserving all the analytical functionality and features of the CMA. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.