Scanning Electron Microscopy


We propose an application of the Monte Carlo method in the field of backscattering. The results obtained for incident electron energies ranging from 0.3 to 3 MeV and for targets of Al, Cu, Ag and Au are compared with experimental values from several sources.

An electron travelling through matter undergoes successive collisions between which it is assumed to travel in a straight line. In our case, we consider the elementary process of interaction electron-nucleus; we have used analytical models for the scattering cross-sections. In order to follow the electron through the specimen, we divide the real trajectory into elements of length much smaller than the mean free path. Pseudo-random number process permits us to determine whether or not an interaction occurs, also the type of interaction. For the energy losses, we introduced a relation derived from Landau's theory. We then followed the electron until it is emerged from the material or halted.

The backscattering coefficients obtained for thin and thick targets as a function of the incident electron energy are in good agreement with the experimental data. We have introduced the depth distribution function of the backscattered electrons, which allows us to test the predictions of various theoretical models proposed by other authors.

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