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Auger Electron Spectroscopy Tool in the Integrated Measurements and Characterization Cluster Tool

This page provides details on Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) in the Integrated Measurements and Characterization cluster tool. The AES tool will be operational in 2009. It is designed for highly automated elemental composition measurements of photovoltaic materials, including point analysis, sputter depth profiling, and 2-dimensional mapping across the entire 157-mm x 157-mm substrate. It can accept samples deposited or processed in any Process Development and Integration Laboratory-compatible tools without transfer through air. In addition, a dedicated load lock permits samples that are not air-sensitive to be loaded directly into the tool.

The AES supports the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Technology Roadmaps for crystalline and amorphous silicon, copper indium gallium diselenide, cadmium telluride, organic PV, transparent conducting oxides, and reliability. Access the Technology Roadmaps on the DOE Solar Energy Web site.

Line drawing of a measurement chamber with various ports, mounted on a wheeled frame; the main port that connects to the Integrated Measurements and Characterization cluster tool is to the right.

Drawing of the Auger Electron Spectroscopy tool, which can be used on either the Integrated Measurements and Characterization Cluster tool or the Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide cluster tool.


  • Analyzing elemental composition (detects elements for Z>2) and chemical-state effects
  • Conducting sputter depth-profiling
  • Mapping in two dimensions for film uniformity and/or combinatorial analysis

Special features:

  • Base pressure is <10-10 torr
  • Probe sizes are down to 100 μm
  • Lateral resolution for 2-dimensional mapping is about 500 µm
  • Sputter rates for depth profiling are up to 50 nm/min
  • Energy resolution of electron spectrometer is about 100 meV
  • Data acquisition is automated
  • Has a dedicated load lock for stand-alone operation
  • Excitation source is a 0 to 5-keV electron gun
  • Detection limit is about 0.1 atomic %
  • Automated 3-axis stage provides full access to 157-mm × 157-mm sample
  • Sample orientation is face-down

Contact Glenn Teeter for more information on these capabilities.