EPMA - A versatile technique for the characterization of thin films and layered structures
Electron probe microanalysis is discussed as a versatile technique of near-surface chemical characterization. Three principle operation methods are distinguished: 1. "Thick" films (>0.2 mym) are studied by use of a sufficiently low electron energy. 2. The combined determination of film thickness and composition is applied to "thin" films (<0.5 mym) and multilayers. Relatively fast analysis at a single electron energy is possible under certain restrictions. 3. The universal approach of non- destructive in-depth analysis is based on combining experiments at various electron energies. The modes of operation are described in respect of experimental procedures, data reduction models, precision and accuracy, and the range of practical application. EPMA of is also related to other techniques of thin film and surface anaysis.