A scanning electron microscope (SEM) can provide high-resolution images to observe and measure structured devices, characterize various classes of materials, and locate and classify surface defects, among other applications. SEM is a powerful technique used in many fields, including materials science, semiconductors, nanomaterials, medical devices, biotechnology, microelectronics, failure analysis, and more.

To achieve research goals and solve product problems, it is necessary to understand how SEM works and how to optimize instrument settings to produce high quality images for analysis. SEM uses a focused beam of electrons to image and investigate the topography, morphology, and material composition of micro- and nano-structures in solid objects. During the process, SEM produces three types of signals that can be optimized and detected by different detectors. (Please find more details in the eBrief, "The 3 SEM Signals You Need to Know to Optimize Your SEM Analysis".)  By better understanding available detectors and instrument settings, we can optimize measurements and create desired analyses.

The newest SEM eBrief from Covalent, "Are You Using the Right Detector? 4 Things to Remember for SEM," dives into four important questions to consider when choosing detectors and refining instrument settings. This eBrief explains detector types, image contrast, voltage refinement, and detector angles. Understanding how these settings affect final images of different materials can help us select the right detectors, optimize signals to address measurement targets, and to capture critical information in images.

Cutting-edge SEM instruments, such as the Helios 5 DualBeam and Scios DualBeam used by Covalent's SEM team, have multiple detectors and advanced features that allow researchers to achieve the best images and analyses. Choosing the right detectors and settings can be challenging. This eBrief provides questions and answers to guide you through the process of selecting detectors, refining instrument settings, and getting a complete picture of the sample. We hope this eBrief will help you conduct SEM scans with ease and achieve research goals with confidence.


Publishing Note:

Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEMs) are powerful instruments that can collect various data types, from topography to morphology to material composition, utilizing different detectors and detector settings. The detectors can be optimized for each SEM signal and achieve a variety of research goals.

The SEM Analysis team at Covalent Metrology has assembled this eBrief to aid researchers in understanding, choosing, and optimizing SEM detectors. This eBrief touches on detector types, image contrast, voltage refinement, and detector angles to optimize and create a complete sample analysis.


Learn More About SEM:

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM)

Read the new eBrief: Are You Using the Right Detector? 4 Things to Remember for SEM