Auger Spectroscopy Analysis (AES) is a widely used surface analysis technique that has been successfully applied to many diverse fields. AES is an excellent tool for performing surface analysis and for determining elemental composition as a function of depth. It has been shown to be particularly useful for analyzing multilayer nanostructure compositions of films, wires, and other microelectronics components.
AES can analyze the chemistry of a sample within approximately 6 nanometers or less of the surface. The detection of most chemical elements is in the range of a tenth percent or less.
The AES instrument can be used to determine the elemental composition of a sample at a specific tiny spot (a few microns), along a line, or within a specific area (raster scan).
An additional powerful feature of the AES method is that argon ion sputtering can be used to remove layers of material. As a result, the molecular composition of samples can be determined as a function of depth. For example, aluminum coated polyester for candy bar wrappers can be evaluated to determine the outer aluminum oxide thickness, aluminum metal thickness, and the chemistry that has occurred at the plastic/metal interface.
Because the AES method determines the chemical composition of the outermost one to ten molecular layers of a sample it is very important that no materials be intentionally added to, or removed from, the region of the sample that is of interest.
It is best to talk directly with our scientists prior to sending samples. We will provide guidance on the packing and shipping of samples and may offer to send proper packaging materials to you.
The specimens that are put into the AES spectrometer are typically about an inch in diameter and a half inch or less in height.
The AES instrument operates at high vacuum so volatile components of a sample will be removed during the pump-down cycle. The AES method documents the elements from the nonvolatile chemical compounds that are in the surface region of the sample.
Contact us to talk through your specific sample considerations.
Auger Electron Spectroscopy is especially useful in analyzing:
- Metallized films
- Metal coatings
- Surface oxidation
- Metal composition as a function of depth