Utilizing High Depth Resolution for Measuring Layers at an Atomic Level

Most historians consider that we have had three Industrial Revolutions. The first revolution occurred at the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th which centered around mechanization – utilizing water and steam to mechanize production. Towards the end of the 19th century the second revolution occurred and the world experienced massive technological advancements with new sources of energy such as electricity, gas, and oil. During the second half of the 20th century the third revolution emerges with the rise of electronics, telecommunications, and computers.  Some believe that we are now entering into our fourth revolution, the digital revolution, as electronics become smaller, faster, and more powerful. With these new advances in technology, High Depth Resolution analysis plays an even bigger role.

Understanding High Depth Resolution

High Depth Resolution is the ability to study very thin layers in a sample – down to the atomic level. This allows manufacturers to know what the smallest layers in their product are made of. This is important for technologies such as computer chips, transistors in cell phones (which helps to dissipate heat), high speed electronics and communications, and displays.

High Depth Resolution

Using High Depth Resolution to Study at an Atomic Level

With the miniaturization and improvements to technology comes the need to understand and study materials to make sure they function properly and essentially do what they were built to do. Scientists at Eurofins EAG utilize High Depth Resolution to study layers of a sample down the atomic level. First, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) enables EAG to help figure out the composition of a layer and its absolute thickness. TEM can be, and has been, used alongside Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) analysis to calibrate individual layer thickness measurements. The benefit of combining both techniques is that EAG can get consistent and accurate results in layer composition, doping and contamination concentrations, and layer thickness. From surface to substrate EAG also utilizes an in-house specialized sample prep method, also known as chemical and mechanical polishing, that helps to strip off surface layers of less interest in the project to focus on buried, thin layers of greater importance.

As consumers increase the demand for products that have more memory, more power, and are faster, all while being smaller, these analyses will continue to be pertinent to product reliability and safety. EAG continues to be a leader in SIMS analysis and has a team of experts ready to partner with you to produce data driven results. Please contact us today to learn how EAG can partner with you to analyze your product.

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