Upgrade Your SEM with a Single Crystal BSE Detector

Your scanning electron microscope (SEM) is designed to create high-quality imaging to get you the most accurate information possible about your sample. A backscattered electron (BSE) detector is an important part of that process, giving you enhanced data about the elemental composition of your sample. However, the existing BSE detector attached to your SEM may not be powerful enough to give you all the information you need. In that case, it may be time to upgrade with a single crystal BSE detector from SEMTech Solutions.

What is a BSE Detector?

A scanning electron microscope  scans samples by directing an electron beam at its surface. The beam hits the sample, which produces secondary electrons, backscattered electrons, and x-rays. Various detectors within the microscope then collect information from the irradiated sample.

Let’s focus on backscattered electrons. When the beam hits the sample, the electrons attached to the sample’s  core atomic structure will be ejected from the force of the primary beam, much like the initial breaking of a pool game, if we consider the primary beam as the cue ball.  The extracted high energy electrons  (pool balls) bounce back in a straight line to the BSE detector, or head back to the corner pockets where the detector would reside closest to the cue ball’s origin. Backscattered electrons can provide valuable information about a sample — particularly what elements are present within it.

Older scintillator-based BSE detectors don’t provide the resolution when compared to the single crystal detectors used today.  An imaging example is shown in figure 1.


Upgrade Your Technology — Without a New SEM

You need better information from your technology. However, that doesn’t mean you need to invest in a new SEM. Our F1 BSE detector provides high-quality BSE technology that can be added to any existing SEM from any manufacturer, enhancing your processes without the need for a big equipment upgrade.

SEMTech Solutions’ BSE Detector Technology

Our BSE detectors are designed to be long-lasting, efficient, and to have applications for both SEM and focused electron beam (FIB) tools. Features include:

  • A single crystal scintillator of yttrium aluminum garnet activated by cerium
  • Excellent mechanical and chemical resistance
  • Unlimited sensor lifetime
  • Motorized mechanics
  • Excellent signal-to-noise ratio with High Vacuum (HV), Low Vacuum (LV) and Environmental (ESEM) systems
  • Low-Energy Coating to provide sensitivity from 30kV to 0.2kV

The technology is well-suited for any SEM but is particularly useful for both high and low kV imaging requirements in metallurgical, material research, biomedical, material characterization, and semiconductor applications.

Partner With the SEM Experts

The information you get from your BSE detector is invaluable. With more advanced components, you can gather more information about the elemental makeup of your samples and enhance your processes.

Are you looking to determine the right accessories for your SEM? SEMTech Solutions has the expertise to help. Let’s discuss your application. Whether it’s time to invest in an advanced BSE detector, or transform your whole process with the SEMView8000, we can help you decide on the best technology for your research.


  1. Reference: F1 BSE Detector Comparative Study