Pulsed electron beams from a photocathode using an InGaN semiconductor have brought selectively scanning technology to scanning electron microscopes, where the electron beam irradiation intensity and area can be arbitrarily selected within the field of view in SEM images. The p-type InGaN semiconductor crystals grown in the metalorganic chemical vapor deposition equipment were used as the photocathode material for the electron beam source after the surface was activated to a negative electron affinity state in the electron gun under ultrahigh vacuum. The InGaN semiconductor photocathode produced a pulsed electron beam with a rise and fall time of 3 ns, consistent with the time structure of the irradiated pulsed laser used for the optical excitation of electrons. The InGaN photocathode-based electron gun achieved a total beam operation time of 1300 h at 15 μA beam current with a downtime rate of 4% and a current stability of 0.033% after 23 cycles of surface activation and continuous beam operation. The InGaN photocathode-based electron gun has been installed in the conventional scanning electron microscope by replacing the original field emission gun. SEM imaging was performed by selective electron beaming, in which the scanning signal of the SEM system was synchronized with the laser for photocathode excitation to irradiate arbitrary regions in the SEM image at arbitrary intensity. The accuracy of the selection of regions in the SEM image by the selective electron beam was pixel by pixel at the TV scan speed (80 ns/pix, 25 frame/s) of the SEM.

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