Surface Analysis

MRL’s surface analysis suite provides a variety of instrumentation for surface chemical analysis, ranging from accelerator-based techniques to various spectroscopy, spectrometry, and profilometry tools.


Accelerator-based Techniques

Ion particles accelerated to high energy within a few MeV can be used for ion implantation of materials and also for non-destructive analytical techniques involving scattering processes such as Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS). Two linear particle accelerators are available in the MRL Central Research Facilities: a Pelletron system, dedicated to RBS analysis using He ions, and a van de Graaff accelerator for ion implantation of He, He, Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe.

Auger Electron Spectroscopy

Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) is a surface sensitive analytical technique used mainly to determine elemental compositions of materials and, in certain cases to identify the chemical states of surface atoms. With AES, a primary electron beam is used to excite secondary and Auger electrons.

Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry

In secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), a focused ion beam is directed to a solid surface, removing material in the form of neutral and ionized atoms and molecules.

Surface Profilometry

Surface profilometry is a contact measurement technique in which a diamond-tipped stylus is used to measure surface topography as it moves across the surface of a specimen.

X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

In X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), also called electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA), X-rays excite photoelectrons, and the emitted electron signal is plotted as a spectrum of binding energies.


Equipment in this Core

Equipment Name Contact Location Technique(s)
Cameca ims 5f B01 MRL
HVE Van de Graaff Accelerator B70 MRL
Kratos Axis ULTRA B81 MRL
NEC Pelletron Accelerator 130 MRL
Physical Electronics 5400 B08 MRL
Physical Electronics 660 B06 MRL
Physical Electronics Trift III B04 MRL
Sloan Dektak3ST B80 MRL


RBS Theory