Scanning Microscopy


A Monte Carlo study of backscattering of kilovolt electrons in solids, a process of primary importance in electron microscopy and surface analytical techniques, is carried out. Simulations have been performed using the general-purpose simulation code PENELOPE (an acronym for "Penetration and ENErgy LOss of Positrons and Electrons"), which generates electron-photon showers in arbitrary materials. A systematic comparison of results from PENELOPE with available experimental data, and with results from simulations with a much more sophisticated code, is given for electron beams with energies between 2.5 and 60 keV and elemental solids with atomic numbers Z = 4 to 92. It is concluded that PENELOPE gives a reliable description of the backscattering process, even for relatively low electron energies and thin targets.

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