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Journal of Electron Microscopy

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 59  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 379 - 385

Quantitative backscattered electron imaging of field emission scanning electron microscopy for discrimination of nano-scale elements with nm-order spatial resolution

H Kim, T Negishi, M Kudo, H Takei and K. Yasuda


Discrimination of thin film elements by backscattered electron (BSE) imaging of field emission scanning electron microscope was examined. Incident electron acceleration voltage dependence on thin films’ BSE intensities in five elements (Au, Ag, Ge, Cu and Fe) on a silicon substrate was experimentally measured from 3 to 30 kV. Normalization of BSE intensities using the difference between maximum and minimum brightness was proposed and allowed reproducible comparison among the elements. Measured intensities, which have correlation with electron backscattering coefficient against atomic number, indicated the existence of adequate acceleration voltage for improvement of resolution to discriminate different elements, showing the possibility of discriminating at least these six elements simultaneously by BSE imaging with nanometer-scale spatial resolution.

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