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?
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.
- Discolorations, Stains