Scanning Auger Microscopy (SAM)
In Scanning Auger Microscopy (SAM), a fine-focused, high energy primary electron beam with a diameter down to a few nanometers is scanned across a surface of interest. On the impact sites of the beam, Auger electrons are created – thus, by scanning the beam across the surface, one can generate a map showing where on the sample which Auger electrons are created. Because the kinetic energies of the Auger electrons are element specific, this map directly reflects the lateral chemical composition of the examined surface. The method is often combined with a scanning electron microscope – since both methods utilise the same primary electron beam.