Scanning Laser Acoustic Microscope Visualization of Solid Inclusions in Silicon Nitride
The Scanning Laser Acoustic Microscope (SLAM) operating at a frequency of 100 MHz is used to characterize solid inclusions in silicon nitride. Ten, seven millimeter thick discs, with 100 and 400 micron implanted inclusions are analyzed. We find that the images of a solid inclusion are characterized by a bright high transmission central zone, a well defined dark boundary and a characteristic diffraction ring pattern. These image features differentiate solid inclusions from pores and voids which may also be encountered in the samples. The images of the implanted flaws were generally found to be larger than anticipated. This can be understood in terms of the divergence of the sound due to diffraction and due to lens action of the curved boundary of the flaw. Our initial observations suggest that accurate estimates of defect size may be obtaiRable from a more complete analysis of SLAM micrographs.