Comparative studies on the ultimate spatial resolution of the Scanning Electron Microscope, using different components of the electron signal have been performed on specimens providing compositional contrast. By operating the microscope in a conventional way as well as with a specifically designed set-up we have ascertained that the delocalized components of the signal provide a spatial resolution of the order of the beam size, even if the practical use can be limited by the noise. To amplify the contribution of the delocalized components of the signal, as backscattered electrons by a bulk specimen or forward scattered electrons by a thin specimen, we used a device consisting of a plate of a material with high secondary yield placed above or below the sample. An important practical implication arises from this study. A detecting system consisting of a standard Everhart-Thornley detector coupled with a converter of backscattered or transmitted electrons represents a high performance detecting device for low voltage observations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
Merli, P. G., Migliori, A., Nacucchi, M., & Vittori Antisari, M. (1996). Comparison of spatial resolutions obtained with different signal components in scanning electron microscopy. Ultramicroscopy, 65(1-2), 23 - 30. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3991(96)00053-8