Scanning Electron Microscopy


One of the major improvements in transmission electron microscopy over the last years is the addition of the capability of producing images with electrons that have specific narrow energy bands out of the total spectrum of energies they possess after having passed through the specimen. Though the idea is not new, the power of this application is only beginning to be recognized. Most simply, selection of elastically scattered electrons permits increased contrast in high resolution i mages in bright field, dark field, and diffraction. The use of combined elastic and inelastic signals adds entirely new contrast mechanisms, partially independent of thickness, partly Z-related. Finally, selection of element specific inelastic events permits elemental mapping with spatial resolutions of 0.3 -0.5 nm and detection sensitivities of about 30 to 50 atoms. Consideration of resolution, sensitivity, image points of analysis and acquisition time leads to a combined improvement of about 1013 times over X-ray microanalysis.

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