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Cerium Hexaboride Electron Source (CeB6)

Thermo Fisher Phenom Desktop SEM

Cerium Hexaboride Electron Source (CeB6)

Cerium hexaboride (CeB6) is a highly efficient electron source commonly used in Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM). CeB6 is a compound of cerium and boron atoms, and is known for its high electron emission, which makes it an ideal choice for SEM applications.

One of the key benefits of using CeB6 as an electron source is its high brightness. Brightness is a measure of the number of electrons emitted per unit area per unit time, and high brightness is crucial for obtaining high-quality SEM images. The excellent brightness of CeB6 provides higher signal-to-noise ratios, providing better image resolution and quality compared to other electron sources, such as tungsten filaments. Using CeB6, more current can be utilized as well as a smaller spot size, which leads to higher resolution than tungsten. Additionally, CeBhas a long lifetime compared to other electron sources, which reduces the need for maintenance and downtime.

CeB6 provides several benefits:

Brighter Source

This improves signal-to-noise ratio, enabling higher resolution imaging and EDS count rates

Lower Energy Spread

This improves imaging resolution as well as EDS spectral resolution

Reliable Performance

The stability of the beam results in little need for stigmation or alignments. 

Longer Lifetime

CeB6 does not fail catastrophically, allowing maintenance to be scheduled in advance.
Additional Features

Electrons emitted from the CeB6 source have a narrow range of energies, which results in better spectral resolution in energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis. This allows for more accurate analysis of the sample’s elemental composition. CeB6 is also a very stable material, and is resistant to contamination and degradation, which ensures that its performance remains consistent over time. In addition to its performance benefits, CeB6 is a cost-effective electron source, making it an accessible option for a wide range of SEM applications. These applications include imaging, material analysis, and spectroscopy, among others.

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