When an electron beam of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) impinges on an N-P junction, the generation of electron-hole pairs by impact ionization causes a characteristic short circuit current ISC to flow. The I SC, i.e. EBIC (electron beam induced current) depends strongly on the configuration used to investigate the cell's response. In this paper we consider the case where the plane of the junction is perpendicular to the surface. An EBIC equation amenable to numerical computations is derived as a function of cell thickness, source depth, surface recombination velocity, diffusion length, and distance of the junction to the beam-cell interaction point for a cell with an ohmic contact at its back surface. It is shown that the EBIC equation presented here is more general and easier to use than those previously reported. The effects of source depth, ohmic contact, and diffusion length on the normalized EBIC characteristic are discussed.