Photoconductor Defect Analysis
Original Publication Date: 1986-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
A scanning electron microscope (SEM) is used to concomitantly negatively charge and view a xerographic photoconductor, in order to find the site of minute, electrically conductive defects in the photoconductor. The photoconductor sample is mounted in the SEM, and electrical contact is established between the photoconductor's aluminized MYLAR* substrate (ground plane) and the ground of the SEM. The sample is then imaged in the SEM using secondary electron imaging. Since the photoconductor is an insulator in the absence of visible radiation, the SEM's electron beam causes the photoconductor's surface to develop a static negative charge. In the region of a defect (i.e., a conductive path to the ground plane), there are sufficient charge carriers to allow discharge of the SEM-generated electrons to ground.