Robust autofocusing for scanning electron microscopy based on a dual deep learning network

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Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is a high-resolution imaging technique with subnanometer spatial resolution that is widely used in materials science, basic science, and nanofabrication. However, conducting SEM is rather complex due to the nature of using an electron beam and the many parameters that must be adjusted to acquire high-quality images. Only trained operators can use SEM equipment properly, meaning that the use of SEM is restricted. To broaden the usability of SEM, we propose an autofocus method for a SEM system based on a dual deep learning network, which consists of an autofocusing-evaluation network (AENet) and an autofocusing-control network (ACNet). The AENet was designed to evaluate the quality of given images, with scores ranging from 0 to 9 regardless of the magnification. The ACNet can delicately control the focus of SEM online based on the AENet's outputs for any lateral sample position and magnification. The results of these dual networks showed successful autofocus performance on three trained samples. Moreover, the robustness of the proposed method was demonstrated by autofocusing on unseen samples. We expect that our autofocusing system will not only contribute to expanding the versatility of SEM but will also be applicable to various microscopes.
Publisher
NATURE PORTFOLIO
Issue Date
2021-10
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v.11, no.1

ISSN
2045-2322
DOI
10.1038/s41598-021-00412-5
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/289383
Appears in Collection
ME-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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