Electron energy loss and diffraction of backscattered electrons from silicon

Aimo Winkelmann*, Koceila Aizel, Maarten Vos

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Electrons backscattered from crystals can show Kikuchi patterns: variations in intensity for different outgoing directions due to diffraction by the lattice. Here, we measure these effects as a function of their energy loss for 30 keV electrons backscattered from silicon. The change in diffraction contrast with energy loss depends strongly on the scattering geometry. At steep incidence on the sample, diffraction contrast in the observed Kikuchi bands decreases rapidly with energy loss. For an energy loss larger than about 150 eV the contrast is more than 5 times less than the contrast due to electrons near zero energy loss. However, for grazing incidence angles, maximum Kikuchi band contrast is observed for electrons with an energy loss near 60 eV, where the contrast is more than 2.5 × larger than near zero energy loss. In addition, in this grazing incidence geometry, the Kikuchi diffraction effects stay significant even for electrons that have lost hundreds of electron volts. For the maximum measured energy loss of 440 eV, the electrons still show a contrast that is 1.5 × larger than that of the electrons near zero energy loss. These geometry-dependent observations of Kikuchi band diffraction contrast are interpreted based on the elastic and inelastic scattering properties of electrons and dynamical diffraction simulations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number053001
    JournalNew Journal of Physics
    Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2010


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