Application of the scatter diagram technique to the scanning electron microscope: Preliminary results from diamond



Using primary beam energies E0 ranging from 0.2 to 15 keV and an in-lens detector, a series of images of the same region of an artificial microstructured diamond sample have been acquired in scanning electron microscopy. Next, the images were analysed by using a scatter diagram technique to underline the topographic contrast change and contrast reversal. The results obtained from 0.5 to 15 keV are discussed with the help of an expression derived from the constant loss model for the secondary electron yield δ of diamond, but including the respective roles of the angle of incidence, i, and of the angle of detection, α. More surprising is the quality of images obtained at a beam energy as low as 0.2 keV, and more difficult to explain is the significant contrast change between 0.2 keV and 0.5 keV. For the first time, scatter diagrams are used as a diagnostic tool in scanning electron microscopy, and after some improvements it is hoped that the experimental approach followed here may lead to quantitative estimates of the local tilts of a specimen surface.