Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry, RBS Analysis

Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) is an ion scattering technique used for compositional thin film analysis. RBS is unique in that it allows quantification without the use of reference standards. During an RBS analysis, high-energy (MeV) He2+ ions (i.e. alpha particles) are Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry, RBS Analysis by EAGdirected onto the sample and the energy distribution and yield of the backscattered He2+ ions at a given angle is Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) technique from Evans Analytical Group (EAG).measured. Since the backscattering cross section for each element is known, it is possible to obtain a quantitative compositional depth profile from the RBS spectrum obtained, for films that are less than 1μm thick.

Evans Analytical Group® (EAG) has world-class experience in analyzing thin films using RBS, with both pelletron and tandetron instrumentation. EAG's experience in the analysis of all types of semiconductor thin films (oxides, nitrides, silicides, high and low-K dielectrics, metal films, compound semiconductors and dopants) enables fast turnaround times, accurate data, and high quality person-to-person service.

Rutherford Backscattering TrainingLearn more about our scattering techniques:

Ion Channeling

Hydorgen Forward Scattering Spectrometry (HFS)

Nuclear Reaction Analysis (NRA)


  • Thin film composition/thickness
  • Determine areal concentrations (atoms/cm2)
  • Determine film density (when thickness is known)

Signal Detected: Backscattered He atoms

Elements Detected: B-U

Detection Limits: 0.001-10at%

Depth Resolution: 50-200Å

Imaging/Mapping: No

Lateral Resolution/Probe Size: >=2mm

  • Non-destructive compositional analysis
  • Quantitative without standards
  • Whole wafer analysis (up to300mm) as well as irregular and large samples
  • Conductor and insulator analysis
  • Hydrogen measurements (in HFS mode)
  • Low-Z element sensitivity (in NRA mode)
  • Large analysis area (~2mm)
  • Useful information limited to top ~1μm of samples
  • Aerospace
  • Defense
  • Displays
  • Semiconductor
  • Telecommunications
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