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Surface Analysis

Our Surface Analysis team uses techniques to determine the chemical, elemental, and molecular composition, and electronic structure of material surfaces and interfaces. This research is important because the properties of the surface and outer few micrometers of a material often control the electrical, chemical, or mechanical properties of that material.

Using ions, electrons, and X-ray or ultraviolet photons in high vacuum, we probe surfaces and interfaces of a material and perform the following functions:

  • Map the elemental and chemical composition of specimens
  • Study impurities and grain boundaries
  • Gather bonding and chemical-state information
  • Measure surface electronic properties
  • Perform depth profiles to determine doping and elemental distributions
  • Analyze a wide range of materials, including photovoltaics, microelectronics, polymers, and biological specimens.

Our Surface Analysis group wants to work collaboratively with you to solve materials- and device-related research and development (R&D) problems.

The following table provides a condensed listing of instumentation, applications, properties, and specifications for each surface analysis analytical technique.

Major Instrumentation for Surface Analysis

Analytical Technique Instru-
Typical Appli-
Probing species Spot Size Signal Elements Limit Lateral Reso-
Depth Profiling
Mapping Organic Info.
Auger electron spectroscopy Physical
Electronics PHI 670
Elemental surface analysis, small-feature analysis Electrons 25 nm Auger electrons Li to U 0.5-1 at.% 25 nm Yes, 10 nm Yes
X-ray and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy Physical
Electronics PHI 5600
Elemental and chemical surface analysis, surface electronic properties X-ray or ultra-violet photons 50 µm (XPS)
1 mm (UPS)
Photo-emitted electrons Li to U 0.5-1 at.% (XPS) 50 µm (XPS) Yes, limited, 100 nm both Limited Yes
Surface Analysis Cluster Tool Integrated Capabilities PHI670, PHI5600, UHV Deposition system with TDMS, inert-atmosphere glovebox; in-situ materials chemistry and processing studies Elemental surface analysis, small feature analysis, elemental and chemical surface analysis, surface electronic properties N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Dynamic SIMS Cameca IMS- 5F & IMS-3F Trace-element contaminant and dopant analysis Ions (Cs, O, Ar) 1 to 200 µm Ions (+/-) H to U and all isotopes ppm-ppb
1 µm Yes, <10 nm Yes
Static TOF SIMS IONTOF TOF SIMS IV Surface elemental and molecular information Ions (Ga, Ar, O) To 0.3 µm Ions (+/-) mass range <1000 amu ppm-ppb (cm-2) 0.5 µm Yes, <5 nm Yes Yes

For additional information see the Surface Analysis brochure.

For additional information contact Glenn Teeter, 303-384-6664.