Image contrasts of Si-based semiconducting materials have been investigated by using the latest scanning electron microscope with various detectors under a range of experimental conditions. Under a very low accelerating voltage (500 V), we obtained a good image contrast between crystalline SiGe whiskers and the amorphous matrix using an in-lens secondary electron (SE) detector, while the conventional topographic SE image and the compositional backscattered electron (BSE) image gave no distinct contrast. By using an angular-selective BSE (AsB) detector for wide-angle scattered BSE, on the other hand, the crystal grains in amorphous matrix can be clearly visualized as 'channelling contrast'. The image contrast is very similar to that of their transmission electron microscope image. The in-lens SE (true SE ≒ SE1) and the AsB (channelling) contrasts are quite useful to distinguish crystalline parts from amorphous ones.
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