Atmosphere influence on in-situ ion beam analysis of thin film growth

Yuping Lin*, Alan R. Krauss, Robert P.H. Chang, Orlando H. Auciello, Dieter M. Gruen, J. Albert Schultz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In-situ non-destructive surface characterization of thin film growth processes in an environment of chemically active gas at pressures of several millitorrs is required both for the understanding of growth processes in multicomponent films and layered heterostructures and for the improvement of process reproducibility and device reliability. We have developed a differentially pumped pulsed ion beam surface analysis system that includes ion scattering spectroscopy (ISS) and direct recoil spectroscopy (DRS), coupled to an automated ion beam sputter deposition system, to study film growth processes in an environment of chemically active gas, such as required for the growth of oxide, nitride or diamond thin films. The influence of gas-phase scattering and gas-surface interactions on the ISS and DRS signal intensity and peak shape has been studied. From the intensity variation as a function of ambient gas pressure, we have calculated the mean free path and the scattering cross-section for several combinations of primary ion species and ambient gas. Depending on the system geometry and the combination of primary beam and background gas, it is shown that surface-specific data can be obtained during thin film growth at pressures ranging up to several millitorrs. Detailed information such as composition, structure and film growth mechanism may be obtained in real time, making ion beam analysis an ideal non-destructive in-situ probe of thin film growth processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 15 1994


  • Ion scattering
  • Sputtering
  • Surface composition
  • Surface structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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