Scanning Electron Microscopy


Low voltage operation of the scanning electron microscope is being increasingly used to avoid negative charging in e-beam inspection and metrology. Positive charging effects, however, may still disturb the measurement accuracy even with low primary beam energies. Current investigations have revealed that no errors due to positive charging occur on resist structures on semiconductor substrates. But samples with metal structures on insulating substrates do involve disturbing effects due to positive charging. The difference in behavior between these groups of samples is attributed to the fundamental difference between insulator and conductor charging. This difference is due to different field geometries on the respective surfaces.

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