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7: Surface Imaging and Depth Profiling

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    • 7.1: Basic concepts in surface imaging and localized spectroscopy
      Most surface spectroscopic techniques involve probing the surface by exposing it to a flux of "particles" (hν , e- , A+ ....) and simultaneously monitoring the response to this stimulation by, for example, measuring the energy distribution of emitted electrons. In their most basic form, these techniques collect information from a relatively large area of surface (∼ mm2 ). In most cases, however, there are variations of these techniques which permit either.
    • 7.2: Electron Microscopy - SEM and SAM
      The two forms of electron microscopy which are commonly used to provide surface information are:  Secondary Electron Microscopy ( SEM ) - which provides a direct image of the topographical nature of the surface from all the emitted secondary electrons and  Scanning Auger Microscopy ( SAM ) - which provides compositional maps of a surface by forming an image from the Auger electrons emitted by a particular element.
    • 7.3: Imaging XPS
      The combination of the features of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (in particular, quantitative surface elemental analysis and chemical state information - see 5.3) together with spatial localization is a particularly desirable option in surface analysis. However, whilst much progress has been made in developing the technique of imaging XPS, there is still a considerable research effort being devoted to improving the available spatial resolution beyond that which is currently available.
    • 7.4: SIMS - Imaging and Depth Profiling
      Since the SIMS technique utilizes a beam of atomic ions (i.e. charged particles) as the probe, it is a relatively easy matter to focus the incident beam and then to scan it across the surface to give an imaging technique.
    • 7.5: Auger Depth Profiling
      Auger Spectroscopy is a surface sensitive spectroscopic technique yielding compositional information. In its basic form it provides compositional information on a relatively large area of surface using a broad-focused electron beam probe. In this manner, sufficient signal can be readily obtained whilst keeping the incident electron flux low, and thus avoiding potential electron-induced modifications of the surface. As a consequence the technique is non-destructive when used in this manner.
    • 7.6: Scanning Probe Microscopy - STM and AFM
      The Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) prompted the development of a whole family of related techniques which, together with STM, may be classified in the general category of Scanning Probe Microscopy techniques. Of these later techniques, the most important is Atomic Force Microscopy. The development of these techniques has been the most important event in the surface science field in recent times, and opened up many new areas of science and engineering at the atomic and molecular level.

    This page titled 7: Surface Imaging and Depth Profiling is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Roger Nix.

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