|AVS 58th Annual International Symposium and Exhibition|
|Applied Surface Science Division||Wednesday Sessions|
|Session:||Correlative Analysis - A Multi-technique Approach for Identification and Structure-Property Relationships|
|Presenter:||T. Grehl, ION-TOF GmbH, Germany|
|Authors:||T. Grehl, ION-TOF GmbH, Germany
P. Bruener, ION-TOF GmbH, Germany
N. Havercroft, ION-TOF USA, Inc.
H. Brongersma, ION-TOF GmbH, Germany
E. Niehuis, ION-TOF GmbH, Germany
|Correspondent:||Click to Email|
Ultra-thin film structures have become increasingly important and simultaneously gained complexity with regard to the number of layers and the elemental composition. Understanding the processes occurring during deposition is crucial for improving the film quality. Especially during the first stages of film growth, analytical techniques with high surface sensitivity and good detection limits are required to study the growth process.
Low Energy Ion Scattering (LEIS) lends itself well to these tasks with its ultimate surface sensitivity of a single monolayer and detection limits of down to 10 ppm. This is accomplished by bombarding the surface with noble gas ions of a few keV and measuring the energy loss of the backscattered ions at a fixed scattering angle. The energy spectrum is converted into a mass spectrum of the elements present at the sample surface. The absence of matrix effects allows a straightforward quantification.
Besides the composition analysis of the outermost atomic layer, depth profiling is available via two distinct methods. Static depth profiling exploits the fact that ions scattered in deeper layers lose additional energy proportional to the penetration depth. As this process involves neutralization and re-ionization, intensities are lower than for the ions scattered at the surface. Thus, these ion can be distinguished, giving information about the elemental distribution in the first few nm in a non-destructive way. Alternatively, dynamic depth profiling is available by using a second, low energy sputter ion beam to erode the surface while recording surface spectra at different depths. This yields a quantitative, high depth resolution depth profile. By observing the change in the static in-depth signal during sputtering, the sputter rate can be intrinsically and continuously determined.
The unique advantages of LEIS complement established techniques like TOF-SIMS. The latter is often hampered by sputter transients at interfaces and difficult quantification especially of matrix species, but excels as far as the detection of trace elements or the gaining of chemical composition information is concerned. We applied both LEIS depth profiling modes to a number of thin film sample systems. Hereby we show the possibilities arising from each of the two modes, as well as from the combination with TOF-SIMS. Specifically, we worked on model samples relevant to the semiconductor industry (high‑k, SiGe). Some of these samples were designed for studying the response function of the in-depth signal in order to improve the understanding and to allow the application to real-world samples, e. g. to correct for varying erosion rates.