Scanning Microscopy


The efficiency of the secondary electron detector in the scanning electron microscope (SEM) is one of the most important factors affecting the imaging process of the SEM. To compute the detector efficiency, the electrostatic field inside a specimen chamber must be known. A simple way of performing such calculations is to use a spreadsheet program which has a built-in capability of storing and performing some operations on three-dimensional matrices. Using a spreadsheet program makes it possible to solve the Laplace equation and calculate electron trajectories in geometrically complex electrostatic fields. This technique is applied to the estimation of detector efficiency in the SEM.

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