Scanning Electron Microscopy


This paper gives a rapid overview on the use of the energy losses suffered by an incident electron beam. General approximations are remembered. Then some recent results on inner shell excitations as a function of energy (in high voltage electron microscopy) are given, and the problem of thick samples is rapidly discussed.

The problem of the observation of sensitive materials in electron microscopy is discussed. A simple model is proposed to determine some orders of magnitude on the inelastic mean free path and the elementary volume of defects created during the irradiation with electrons of different energies. This model can be used to have an idea of the evolution, as a function of time, of the number of characteristic electrons which have suffered a loss corresponding to an inner shell excitation. So it seems possible, when the cross section corresponding has been determined, to know an approximate variation of the characteristic electrons of the imperturbed structure of the sensitive samples.

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