Modelling Electron Channeling Contrast Intensity of Stacking Fault and Twin Boundary Using Crystal Thickness Effect

Materials (Basel). 2021 Mar 30;14(7):1696. doi: 10.3390/ma14071696.


In a scanning electron microscope, the backscattered electron intensity modulations are at the origin of the contrast of like-Kikuchi bands and crystalline defects. The Electron Channeling Contrast Imaging (ECCI) technique is suited for defects characterization at a mesoscale with transmission electron microscopy-like resolution. In order to achieve a better comprehension of ECCI contrasts of twin-boundary and stacking fault, an original theoretical approach based on the dynamical diffraction theory is used. The calculated backscattered electron intensity is explicitly expressed as function of physical and practical parameters controlling the ECCI experiment. Our model allows, first, the study of the specimen thickness effect on the channeling contrast on a perfect crystal, and thus its effect on the formation of like-Kikuchi bands. Then, our theoretical approach is extended to an imperfect crystal containing a planar defect such as twin-boundary and stacking fault, clarifying the intensity oscillations observed in ECC micrographs.

Keywords: ECCI; crystal thickness; dynamical theory of electron diffraction; modelling BSE intensity; perfect and imperfect crystal; planar defects; stacking fault; twin boundary.