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A theoretical and experimental investigation of contrast and resolution versus specimen thickness in scanning transmission electron microscopy at low energy is reported. Due to absence of postspecimen imaging lenses it is possible to have images with a resolution defined by the probe size using very wide collection angles and independent of the energy loss of the transmitted electrons. The fundamental limitation in observable specimen thickness is represented by the signal to noise ratio, i.e., the intensity of the beam current. The investigated specimens are semiconductor multilayers and Sb precipitates in a Si implanted specimen. The observations of layers crossing the whole specimens parallel to the electron beam point out that only a small portion of them, the one close to the surface, causes the image contrast, while the portion below, where the probe diameter, as a consequence of the broadening, is larger …
Publication date: 
1 Jun 2007

Vittorio Morandi, Pier Giorgio Merli

Biblio References: 
Volume: 101 Issue: 11 Pages: 114917
Journal of applied physics