- Conference date: 11–15 May 2009
- Location: Albany (New York)
Characterization of semiconductor thin films has long been determined by a number of traditional surface analysis techniques; Auger, ESCA/XPS, SEM‐EDS and SIMS to name only a few. Depth profiles, contamination in the thin film or quantitative stoichiometry are specific application examples that predicate the technique best suited for the analysis need. The evolution of photovoltaic (PV) thin film compositions with new chemistries and growing importance of atomic layer deposition (ALD) for semiconductor and nanoscale applications provide a sustaining need for thin film analyses along with an avenue for new analytical tools.
In this paper we will discuss the applications of two non‐traditional material analysis techniques for the semiconductor and PV applications, glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy (RF GD‐OES) and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICP‐MS). Depth profiles are available via both techniques with the ability to analyze monolayers (single nm) as well as analysis in the bulk (μm thickness). Depth resolution capabilities allow analysis without surface equilibrium issues seen with other techniques. In addition, the charging effect that can cause issues with electron and ion beam techniques is avoided with RF GD‐OES and LA ICP‐MS, and thus analysis of both conductive and non‐conductive materials is very straight‐forward.
Contaminant analysis in thin films is very straight‐forward and elements across the periodic table are analyzed in a simultaneous mode with both techniques. Detection limits to part‐per‐billion levels can be achieved and quantitation at low concentrations up to 99% achieved with LA ICP‐MS. Lastly, t will be discussed that for some thin film applications, LA ICP‐MS and RF GD‐OES provide advantages over more traditional techniques, and these aspects as well as complementary features will be discussed.
- Materials analysis
- Solar energy
- Semiconductor thin films
- Atomic layer deposition
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