2011 Volume 51 Issue 9 Pages 1487-1491
We studied the behaviors of contrast in backscattered electron (BSE) images of cross-sectional heat-treated steel under various accelerating voltages and take-off angles. Changes in these conditions resulted in dramatic changes in contrast. Low accelerating voltage and low take-off angle improved the surface information and channeling contrast, whereas high accelerating voltage and high take-off angle enhanced the bulk information and reduced channeling contrast, resulting in improved Z contrast. Such behavior can be understood by the ratio of low-loss electrons (LLEs), which are related to channeling contrast, to the inelastic BSE components detected. The distribution of these components varies with the accelerating voltage and take-off angle: the detection ratio of LLE to inelastic BSE increases with decreasing accelerating voltage and take-off angle. The results obtained in this study will be useful for obtaining Z and crystallographic information separately in BSE images for the material of interest.