Identification of artefacts in Auger electron spectroscopy due to surface topography

A Gelsthorpe, M M El-Gomati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The application of Auger electron spectroscopy to sharp topographies, such as microfabricated field emitters, leads to two analysis artifacts; edge enhancement and shadowing. As a result, the detected Auger electron peak heights can change by more than 100%; potentially giving rise to the wrong conclusions being drawn about the elemental surface concentrations. A single-pass cylindrical mirror analyzer has been modified for use in the rapid identification of such artifacts. The modifications comprises a multichannel electron detector divided into six segments spanning 360degrees of azimuth and an electrostatic lens that passes electrons to the electron detector along the same exit trajectory. independently of their energy. Preliminary results of the use of the instrument in the analysis of a tungsten coated volcano-shaped silicon field-emitter structure are reported. The analysis simultaneously shows two different edge artifacts in the six spectra due to edge enhancement and shadowing. The experiment. demonstrated here shows a rapid method for identifying these artifacts and avoids the need to repeat the experiment using a different angle of incidence, as was conventionally the case. (C) 2003 American Vacuum Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-747
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology. B, Microelectronics and Nanometer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003



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