Optimization of NBED simulations for disc-detection measurements

T Grieb and FF Krause and C Mahr and D Zillmann and K Muller-Caspary and M Schowalter and A Rosenauer, ULTRAMICROSCOPY, 181, 50-60 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.ultramic.2017.04.015

Nano-beam electron diffraction (NBED) is a method which can be applied to measure lattice strain and polarisation fields in strained layer heterostructures and transistors. To investigate precision, accuracy and spatial resolution of such measurements in dependence of properties of the specimen as well as electron optical parameters, simulations of NBED patterns are required which allow to predict the result of common disc- detection algorithms. In this paper we demonstrate by focusing on the detection of the central disc in crystalline silicon that such simulations require to take several experimental characteristics into account in order to obtain results which are comparable to those from experimental NBED patterns. These experimental characteristics are the background intensity, the presence of Poisson noise caused by electron statistics and blurring caused by inelastic scattering and by the transfer quality of the microscope camera. By means of these optimized simulations, different effects of specimen properties on disc detection - such as strain, surface morphology and compositional changes on the nanometer scale - are investigated and discussed in the context of misinterpretation in experimental NBED evaluations. It is shown that changes in surface morphology and chemical composition lead to measured shifts of the central disc in the NBED pattern of tens to hundreds of grad. These shifts are of the same order of magnitude or even larger than shifts that could be caused by an electric polarisation field in the range of MV/cm. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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