Contamination

Unexpected and unaddressed contamination can have dramatic impact on manufacturing process so it is critical to understand and control. For this reason, a large amount of materials characterization effort is focused on searching for contaminants, searching for sources of contaminants and measuring the effectiveness of removing/cleaning contaminants.

Which technique is most appropriate depends on the nature of the contamination and the goal of the analysis.

  • Is the contaminant expected to be organic or inorganic?
  • Is a large amount of contamination expected or only a little?
  • Is the contamination expected to be widespread, localized, or particulate?
  • Is it expected to be on the surface, in a specific layer, at an interface, or in the bulk?
  • Are trace levels important or does its presence only matter above a certain level?

Technique Options

Listed below are potential techniques of interest, based on different types of contamination. In some cases a combination of techniques may be needed, particularly if little is known about the contamination, or if it is a mixture of components.

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