Contamination-free imaging by electron induced carbon volatilization in environmental scanning electron microscopy

Publisher:
Amer Inst Physics
Publication Type:
Journal article
Citation:
Toth Milos et al. 2009, 'Contamination-free imaging by electron induced carbon volatilization in environmental scanning electron microscopy', Amer Inst Physics, vol. 106, no. 3, pp. 034306-1-034306-5.
Issue Date:
2009
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Many ultraviolet, x-ray and charged particle beam techniques are inhibited by the growth of carbonaceous films caused by cross linking of hydrocarbon contaminant adsorbates. In electron microscopy, such films obscure surface features and reduce resolution. We demonstrate how resolution degradation can be alleviated using a H(2)O environment via gas mediated, electron beam induced carbon volatilization, a process that competes with film growth. Net behavior is a function of electron flux, which provides control over growth kinetics during imaging. Under optimized conditions, film growth can be eliminated, removing contamination as a factor limiting image information content and resolution.
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