High-resolution backscatter electron imaging of colloidal gold in LVSEM

Stanley Erlandsen, Y. Chen, C. Frethem, J. Detry, Carol L Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

High-resolution backscatter electron (BSE) imaging of colloidal gold can be accomplished at low voltage using in-lens or below-the-lens FESEMs equipped with either Autrata-modified yttrium aluminium garnet (YAG) scintillators doped with cerium, or with BSE to secondary electron (SE) conversion plates. The threshold for BSE detection of colloidal gold was 1.8 keV for the YAG detector, and the BSE/SE conversion was sensitive down to 1 keV. Gold particles (6, 12 and 18 nm) have an atomic number of 79 and were clearly distinguished at 500 000x by materials contrast and easily discriminated from cell surfaces coated with platinum with an atomic number of 78. BSE imaging was relatively insensitive to charging, and build up of carbon contamination on the specimen was transparent to the higher energy BSE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-218
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Volume211
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003

Keywords

  • BSE imaging
  • Colloidal gold
  • Contamination
  • Detector threshold
  • ExB detector
  • Low-voltage FESEM
  • YAG detector

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