Use of Monte Carlo modeling to aid interpretation and quantification of the low energy-loss electron yield at low primary energies

Christopher Bonet, Andrew Pratt, Mohamed M. El-Gomati, J. A D Matthew, Steven P. Tear

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Experimental low-loss electron (LLE) yields were measured as a function of loss energy for a range of elemental standards using a high-vacuum scanning electron microscope operating at 5 keV primary beam energy with losses from 0 to 1 keV. The resulting LLE yield curves were compared with Monte Carlo simulations of the LLE yield in the particular beam/sample/detector geometry employed in the experiment to investigate the possibility of modeling the LLE yield for a series of elements. Monte Carlo simulations were performed using both the Joy and Luo [Joy, D.C. & Luo, S., Scanning 11(4), 176-180 (1989)] expression for the electron stopping power and recent tabulated values of Tanuma et al. [Tanuma, S. et al., Surf Interf Anal 37(11), 978-988 (2005)] to assess the influence of the more recent stopping power data on the simulation results. Further simulations have been conducted to explore the influence of sample/detector geometry on the LLE signal in the case of layered samples consisting of a thin C overlayer on an elemental substrate. Experimental LLE data were collected from a range of elemental samples coated with a thin C overlayer, and comparisons with Monte Carlo simulations were used to establish the overlayer thickness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-450
Number of pages12
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number5
Early online date16 Sept 2008
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008


  • Backscattered electron
  • BSE
  • Electron microscope
  • Low-loss electron
  • Modeling
  • Monte Carlo
  • Scanning electron microscope
  • SEM

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