Holburn, DM and Smith, KCA (1982) Topographical analysis in the SEM using an automatic focusing technique. Journal of Microscopy, 127. pp. 93-103. ISSN 0022-2720Full text not available from this repository.
A novel technique for automated topographical analysis in the SEM has been investigated. It utilizes a 16-bit minicomputer arranged to act as an automatic focusing unit. The computer is coupled to the objective lens of the microscope, by means of a digital to analogue converter, and may regulate the excitation of the lens under program control. Further digital-to-analogue converters allow the computer to act as a programmable scan generator by applying ramp waveforms to the scan amplifiers, permitting the beam to be swept over a small sub-region of the field of interest. The video signal is sampled and applied to an analogue-to-digital converter; the resultant binary numbers are stored in computer memory as an array of values representing relative image intensities within a subregion. A differencing algorithm applied to the collected data allows the level of objective lens excitation to be found at which the sharpness of the image is optimized, and the excitation may be related to the working distance for that subregion through a previous calibration experiment. The sensitivity of the method for detecting small height changes is theoretically of the order of 1 μm.
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