Scanning Microscopy


The image obtained by the detection of backscattered electrons (BSE) becomes an indispensable complement to the correct interpretation and more precise reconstruction of the surface of the specimen and its material composition. The BSE are carriers of information which is dependent on their angular and energy distribution. The choice of a certain type of BSE and their efficient detection make it possible to record the desired information with a different grade of quality. The knowledge of the angular and energy distribution of BSE is necessary for the adjustment of the correct position of the BSE detector with regard to the specimen and for its optimum geometrical configuration. The directional detection of a limited number of the BSE selected according to their angle and energy makes high demands on the efficiency of the detector. The paper presents BSE detectors based on single crystal aluminium oxides of YAG and YAP. Their spectral characteristics, time characteristics, detection quantum efficiency, electron resistance and mechanical, temperature and vacuum properties satisfy all demands of electron microscopy. The number of differently modified BSE detectors with single crystal scintillators allow application of various detection techniques, recording of different contrast mechanisms, combination of different detection modes (simultaneous detection), achievement of a high resolution of the BSE image.

The paper reviews some 180 published papers by other authors. Their findings and the present author's experimental results have formed the basis for backscattered electron imaging using single crystal scintillator detectors.

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