A comparison between two backscattered electron (BSE) detectors was performed at a customer site using an AMRAY 3200-S scanning electron microscope (SEM) employing a LaB6 cathode. The two BSE detectors were a legacy BSE detector system and the SEMTech Solutions F1 BSE detector. Several metallographic cross sections were examined; a surface mount component, and a gold ball bond on top of a gallium nitride light emitting diode. Comparisons between detectors involved low kV BSE imaging, high magnification BSE imaging, and atomic number contrasting vs. topographic imaging.
Customer comments regarding the SEMTech Solutions F1 BSE detector on the electronic components evaluated were:
- The SEMTech Solutions F1 BSE detector provides an unshadowed and greater resolution presentation of the intermetallic compounds and microstructure.
- One of the most exciting improvements provided by the SEMTech Solutions F1 BSE detector was at high magnifications.
- Many of the SEMTech Solutions F1 BSE detector images were collected at a faster albeit worse SS2 buffering rate, as compared to a SS3 scan rate for the legacy BSE detector. Despite this handicap, and being at half the pixel resolution of the legacy detector images, the F1 BSE images had less noise.
- Due to its greater sensitivity, the SEMTech Solutions F1 BSE detector could be operated at lower accelerating voltages and provided a brighter, higher resolution image than the legacy BSE system.
- Compared to our legacy BSE detector, the new SEMTech F1 BSE detector provided significantly better backscattered electron images.
- All in all, I think the user-friendly SEMTech Solutions F1 BSE detector was a sound purchase that will benefit us for years to come.