Tools for Surface Analysis
This page provides information about terminology, analysis guides, recommended practices, reference data, reference materials and standards, and other tools that enable accurate analysis of surfaces.
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee E42 on Surface Analysis was established in 1976 to help improve and advance the quality of surface analysis. Through the development of terminology, conducting round robin (interlaboratory) comparison studies, and the development of recommended practices and standards, the E42 Committee has worked to advance the concepts and analysis approaches that have significantly improved the ability to obtain accurate reproducible and quantitative analysis of surfaces. Accurate surface analysis has become an important component of the User program at the EMSL laboratory at PNNL. EMSL and ASTM Committee E42 are teaming to collect information that can assist analysts in finding current best practice information and materials that enable state of the art analysis of surfaces. In many circumstances surface analysis methods are important for analysis of nanostructured materials and these methods are sometimes included in lists of nano-analysis tools.
Information important for surface analysis is gathered in 7 categories:
- Vocabulary for surface analysis - Because of the importance of clear and unambiguous communications, ISO definitions and concepts related to surface chemical analysis are now freely available. Includes definitions of methods and important terminology for surface, scanned probe and related multivariate analysis.
- Reference documents - that identify the status, needs and opportunities for improvement of surface analysis or surface analysis methods.
- Guides to surface analysis methods - (XPS, AES, SIMS, etc.)
- Data useful for surface analysis - (binding energies, sputter rates etc.)
- Standards and recommended practices - for surface analysis (sample handling, spectrometer calibration, data reporting etc.)
- Reference materials - that are useful for various aspects of Surface analysis (films to use as sputter rate standards, etc.)
- Specialized software - for quantitative surface analysis
Note: This information from a variety of sources is provided as a service to the community. No endorsement or guarantee is made toward the items listed on this page.
Reference Documents that identify the status, needs and opportunities for improvement of surface analysis or surface analysis methods
- A. Herrera-Gomez, J. T. Grant, P.J. Cumpson, M. Jenko, F.S. Aguirre-Tostado, C.R. Brundle, T. Conard, G. Conti, C.S. Fadley, J. Fulghum, K. Kobayashi, L. Kövér, H. Nohira, R.L. Opila, S. Oswald, R.W. Paynter, R.M. Wallace, W.S.M. Werner, and J. Wolstenholme. 2009. "Report on the 47th IUVSTA Workshop 'Angle-Resolved XPS: The Current Status and Future Prospects for Angle-Resolved XPS of Nano and Subnano Films'." Surface and Interface Analysis 41, p. 840 (Review Paper).
- A.G. Steele, J. Viallon, P. Hatto, T.J.B.M. Janssen, A. Knight, L. Locascio, J.R. Miles, V. Morazzani, S. Prins, W. Unger. 2010. Report on the BIPM Workshop on metrology at the Nanoscale, Sèvres, 18-19 February 2010.
- Castle JE and Powell CJ. 2004. "Report on the 34th IUVSTA workshop 'XPS: From spectra to results - Towards an expert system." Surface and Interface Analysis 39 (225-237).
- Baer DR. 2007. "Improving surface-analysis methods for characterization of advanced materials by dev1elopment of standards, reference data, and interlaboratory comparisons." Surface and Interface Analysis 39 (283-293).
- Senoner M., Wirth T., Unger, W.E.S. 2010. "Imaging surface analysis: Lateral resolution and its relation to contrast and noise." J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 25, 1440-1452, DOI: 10.1039/C004323K.
- Summary of TC 201 Surface Chemical Analysis standards
- Summary of ISO, IEC, NIST and OECD International Workshop on documentary standards for measurement and characterization for nanotechnologies.
- Evans Analytical Group® (EAG) - Technique guide
UK Surface Analysis Forum Resources:
- Surface Science Techniques - A glossary of surface science techniques, their acronyms, and descriptions
- Surface Science Tutorials - A collection of online tutorials, lectures and courses
- EMSL relative sputter rates for oxide films
- EMSL tables of electron and x-ray damage susceptibility
- NIST Database for the Simulation of Electron Spectra for Surface Analysis (SESSA): NIST Standard Reference Database 100 Version 1.2
- NIST Electron Effective-Attenuation-Length Database: NIST Standard Reference Database 82 Version 1.2
- NIST Electron Elastic-Scattering Cross-Section Database: NIST Standard Reference Database 64 Version 3.1
- NIST Electron Inelastic-Mean-Free-Path Database: NIST Standard Reference Database 71 Version 1.1
- NIST Interactive Standard Test Data: simulated x-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS-STD)
- NIST X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Database: NIST Standard Reference Database 20, Version 3.5
- UK Surface Analysis Forum Online Databases: Binding Energies and XPS/AES spectra, Electronic and surface structural data, X-ray transmission, absorbtion and emission data, Particle/Surface interactions, including scattering data and SIMS, Elemental and materials properties, inc. physical constants and safety info., and Literature databases and patent searches
- The National Physical Laboratory provides a set of reference data:
- Average matrix relative sensitivity factors for AES and XPS
- Synthetic spectra for validating XPS peak fitting routines
- Sputter yield values for Neon, Argon and Xenon ions.
Standards and recommended practices for surface analysis (sample handling, spectrometer calibration, data reporting etc.)
ASTM Committee E42 Publishes a variety of Standards and Guides related to Auger Electron Spectorscopy, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Ion Beam Sputtering, Scanning Probe Microscopy and Vacuum Technology. A list of published standards on topics ranging from instrument calibration and charge control during XPS, to sample handling, can be found at the committee website.
The subcommittee structure of E42 outlines work areas of the committee:
- E42.02 - Terminology
- E42.03 - Auger Electron Spectroscopy and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy
- E42.06 - SIMS
- E42.08 - Ion Beam Sputtering
- E42.13 - Vacuum Technology
- E42.14 - STM/AFM
- E42.15 - Electron Probe Microanalysis/Electron Microscopy
The International Standards Organization, Technical Committee 201 on Surface chemical Analysis prepares consensus standards related to specific techniques, surface chemical analysis vocabulary, sample handling, and ion sputtering. A summary of all of the published ISO TC201 standards can be found at the committee website and in summary publications.
The subcommittee structure of TC201 outlines the work areas of the committee:
- TC 201/SC1 - Terminology
- TC 201/SC2 - General procedures
- TC 201/SC3 - Data management and treatment
- TC 201/SC4 - Depth profiling
- TC 201/SC6 - Secondary ion mass spectrometry
- TC 201/SC7 - Electron spectroscopies
- TC 201/SC8 - Glow discharge spectroscopy
- TC 201/SC9 - Scanning probe microscopy
Reference Materials that are useful for various aspects of Surface analysis (films to use as sputter rate standards, etc.)
- The Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing in Germany BAM has a set of certified layer and surface materials. These reference materials include antimony implanted in silicon, nanoscale stripe pattern for testing of lateral resolution and calibration of length scale, hydrogen in amorphous silicon layers, and a number of single-layer and multi-layer thin films
- NIST standard reference materials (SRMs) order certified reference materials online
- Three NIST standard reference materials for depth profiling applications:
- Elemental standards, magnification standards and depth profile standards are available from Geller Microanalytical
- The Surface Analysis Society of Japan hosts a surface analysis data base, a sputter rate data base and information about sputter rate reference material (GaAs/AlAs)
- The National Physical Laboratory provides a set of reference materials
- Logistic Function Profile Fitting Program (LFPF) - (NIST) useful for fitting depth profiles and reporting consistently interface locations and widths. Basis of ASTM Standard 1636-04: Standard Practice of Analytically Describing Sputter-Depth-Profile Data by an Extended Logistic Function.
- NIST Database for the Simulation of Electron Spectra for Surface Analysis (SESSA): NIST Standard Reference Database 100 Version 1.1
- QUASES™ - Quantitative Analysis of Surfaces by Electron Spectroscopy - Tools for analysis of surface nano-structures by electron spectroscopy
- The National Physical Laboratory provides a set of reference materials for quantitive surface analysis:
- ARCtick - software to assist Angle-Resolved XPS depth profiling
- EasyGSIMS - A simple spreadsheet for calculating the G-SIMS spectra
- Intensity calibration software for AES and XPS
- VAMAS eViewer - An emailable viewer for XPS and SIMS spectra in VAMAS standard data transfer format (ISO 14976)
- VAMAS PC138 - format checking software
- Validation of XPS Software - NPL provides synthetic XPS data in ISO14976 format files which allow you to validate the peak fitting routines used in your software.