EPMA Sputter Depth Profiling: A New Technique for Quantitative in-Depth Analysis of Layered Structures

Peter Karduck, Alexander von Richthofen
1995 Microscopy Microanalysis Microstructures  
2014 The remarkable features of modem EPMA techniques are high sensitivity for very small coverages of thin films on substrates (1014 cm-2) and a reliable quantitative determination of elemental compositions. The present work makes use of these features and combines them with ion sputtering of the sample surface to extend the capability of EPMA to real in-depth analysis in the submicron range. The general theoretical background of this EPMA-sputter-depth profiling is worked out and on the basis
more » ... ut and on the basis of a Monte-Carlo simulation model a technique was developed to reconstruct surface near depth profiles by a multiple thin film model. As a result, this new approach is able to determine depth profiles quantitatively with regard to both composition and the real depth coordinate in terms of mass coverage. After having been verified at an artificial layer system of different Ti-Al-N-O-compounds the new technique was used to study oxide scales which were grown on technical hardcoatings of the type Ti1-xAlxN with different fractions x. Despite the roughness of the oxide scales and although the structure of different oxide types was interlocked the variation of the elemental composition with depth could be worked out quantitatively with a relative accuracy of 10%. Additionally a reasonable evaluation of the depth coordinate in mass coverage could be attained, the results of which could be assessed by SEM imaging of the scales in fractured samples. Microsc. Microanal. Microstruct. Classification Physics Abstracts
doi:10.1051/mmm:1995132 fatcat:m6gbemkm5vc7jljssnjskhznsm