high-energy electrons of the incident beam can transfer a critical
amount of energy to an inner-shell electron of an atom, leading
to the ejection of this electron. The ionization energy is
provided by the incident electron, reducing its energy. This
leads to an ionization edge in the electron energy loss spectrum
(EELS). Subsequently, the hole in the
inner-shell is filled up by an electron with higher energy
from an outer shell. This electron
a part of its energy, leading to the emission of characteristic
in the conduction or valence band do not need much energy (low work
function) to be transferred into vacuum. Thus, the energy of
(SE) is low
(>50 eV). The SEs are mainly exploited in SEM.
are lattice vibrations, which are equal to heating the specimen.
This effect may lead to a damage of the sample.
are longitudinal oscillations of free electrons, which decay either
in photons or phonons.
semiconductors are hit by high-energy electrons, electron-hole pairs
can be formed by promoting an valence electron into the conduction
band. Filling this hole with an electron from the conduction band
(recombination) leads to the emission of light with a frequency
that corresponds to the band gap.