Backscattered Electrons and Their Influence on Contrast in the Scanning Electron Microscope


The backscattered electron (BSE) induced secondaries (SE2) emerge from an area that is usually many orders of magnitude larger than the area in which the impinging primary probe releases secondary electrons (SE1). These SE2 secondary electrons form a) an undesired background signal in high resolution scanning micrographs and b) are responsible for the well known proximity effect in electron beam lithography. In this paper we focus our attention on the first topic exclusively: we discuss the complex influence of the SE2 on contrast in SEM micrographs (neglecting the components SE3 and SE4). We do this on the basis of our emission-microscopic measurements of the spatial distributions of SE1 and SE2 emerging from flat bulk specimens. By integrating these distributions in two dimensions we calculate the total number of SE1 and SE2 electrons and deduce the signal to backgroud ratio SE1/(SE1+SE2), i.e., the maximum contrast in one pixel ( single pixel contrast ) and the contrast of two adjacent pixels 1 and 2 according to its usual definition C= (I1 -I2)/(I1 +I2). We calculate the enhanced secondary emission factor for backscattered electrons from our total numbers of SE1 and SE2 for Si, Ge and Ag to Si=2.58, Ge=1.46, Ag=1,23

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