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Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is an analysis that quantifies surface roughness of samples down to the angstrom-scale by presenting images with atomic or near-atomic-resolution surface topography. AFM can also provide quantitative measurements of feature sizes.

AFM is mostly used to create three-dimensional surface topographic imagining, including surface roughness, grain size, step height and pitch.

Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS)

Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS) is a technique that can be used along with applications such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). When used along with these imaging tools, EDS can be used to determine the elemental composition of individual points or to map out the lateral distribution of elements from the imaged area, which can be as small as nanometers in diameter.

Apart from its most common use of providing imagining and elemental composition of small areas, EDS is also used for identification and mapping of elements present in defects.

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) is an analysis that helps identify or characterize organic materials through creating a spectrum that shows molecular vibrations. It can also be used to detect a number of inorganic compounds, and measure the interstitial oxygen content in bulk silicon in semiconductors.

The most common uses of FTIR are identification of organic contaminants, characterization of organic materials. It can also be used for quantification of O and H in Si and H in SiN wafers.

Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)

Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) is a technique that analyzes and quantifies organic volatile and semi-volatile compounds. Gas chromatography (GC) is used to separate the mixture into individual components while Mass spectrometry (MS) is used to identify the various components from their mass spectra and quantify each through the use of standards.

Apart from the common use in identifying and quantifying volatile organic compounds in mixtures, GC-MS can also be used in outgassing studies, testing for residual solvents, evaluating extracts from plastics and evaluating contaminants on semiconductor wafers.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrophotometry (ICP-AES)

Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrophotometry (ICP-AES) is a technique that enables quantitative determination of trace elements. It is also a widely accepted technique in chemical compositional analysis.

Scanning Auger Microscopy (SAM)

Scanning Auger Microscopy (SAM) is an analysis that produces images of the sample surface. Its excellent spatial resolution enables detection and characterization of almost all elements present in the periodic table except hydrogen and helium. This analysis is particularly important for the analysis of very small phases in metallurgical/corrosion studies and in many integrated circuit applications.

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is a widely used analytical tool that provides extremely detailed images of the sample surface and near-surface. Along with an Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) detector, SEM can offer elemental identification of nearly the entire periodic table.

SEM is mostly used to create high resolution images and perform elemental microanalysis and particle characterization.

Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS)

Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) is a surface analytical technique that provides information about the molecular and elemental species present on the surface of a sample. It is a survey technique, so all the elements in the periodic table are detected, making it a good first pass at problem solving. ToF-SIMS analysis can also provide mass spectral information; image information in the XY dimension across a sample; and also depth profile information on the Z dimension into a sample.

ToF-SIMS is most commonly used in surface microanalysis of organic and inorganic materials; mass spectra direct from surfaces; and ion imaging of surfaces.

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) is a technique that allows imagining of ultra-thin samples with high spatial resolution. It is also capable of taking analytical measurements, including characterizing crystallographic phase, crystallographic orientation, producing elemental maps and creating images that highlight elemental contrast (dark field mode). It is therefore the ultimate failure analysis tool for thin film and IC samples.

The most common uses of TEM include identification of defects on integrated circuits; determination of crystallographic phases; nanaparticle characterization; catalyst support coverage; ultra small area elemental maps; III-V super lattice characterization as well as crystal defect characterization.

UV/Vis Spectrophotometer

UV/Vis Spectrophotometer is routinely used in the quantitative determination of solutions of transition metal ions and highly conjugated organic compounds.

X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)

X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) provides quantitative elemental identification and information on the chemical state of materials, including chemical bonding and oxidation state, within the top 10 nm of a surface. XPS analysis can also be utilized for sputter depth profiling to characterize thin films.

The common uses of XPS include surface analysis of organic and inorganic materials, stains, or residues; determination of composition and chemical state information from surfaces; depth profiling for thin film composition; silicon oxynitride thickness and dose measurements; and thin film oxide thickness measurements.

X-ray Diffraction (XRD)

X-ray Diffraction (XRD) is a very powerful technique that can characterize crystalline materials, providing information on structures, phases, preferred crystal orientations (texture), and other structural parameters, such as average grain size, crystallinity, strain, and crystal defects.

There are a wide range of applications of XRD, including identifying phase for bulk and thin-film samples; detecting crystalline minority phases; determining crystallite size for polycrystalline films and materials, as well as percentage of material in crystalline form versus amorphous. It can be used to measure loose powder or dried solution samples for phase identification; analyze films for texture and phase behaviour; determine strain and composition in epitaxial thin film, as well as surface offcut in single crystal materials. It is also commonly used to measure residual stress in bulk metals and ceramics.

X-ray Fluorescence (XRF)

X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) is an analytical technique that can quantify the elemental composition of solid and liquid samples.

XRF can be used in a wide range of applications, including measuring metal film thickness up to several μm deep; full wafer mapping of film thickness with high precision and accuracy; elemental identification in unknown solids, liquids and powders; and identification of metal alloys.