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    Ion Scattering Spectroscopy

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    The backscattering of low-energy ions-typically He+ and Ne+, with primary energies between 200 and 2000 eV—has been applied to a variety of problems of the surface analysis of metals, semiconductors, and, also, insulators. The specific sensitivity of this method makes it particularly useful for composition and structure analysis of the topmost atomic layer. In this review the potential of the method will be demonstrated for three types of investigations in which low-energy ion scattering has been successfully applied.

    In adsorption studies, ion scattering is used in addition to low-energy electron diffraction. The systems studied so far have contained, for example, oxygen, sulfur, and carbon monoxide as adsorbates and nickel, silver, and tungsten crystals as substrates. Ion scattering is used to obtain information about the position of the adsorbates and, in the case of molecules, about their orientation also.

    Desorption of adsorbates by ion bombardment is widely used for target preparation in surface physics and also plays a decisive role in large vacuum vessels such as storage rings or fusion devices. Low-energy ion scattering is a very useful tool for systematic investigations of ion-induced desorption. The features of some of these studies will be shown, and data for desorption cross sections (including hydrogen) will be given.

    In composite systems such as oxides and alloys, the properties of the topmost layer are of particular interest. Its composition depends strongly on the type of preparation, for example, sputtering or annealing (surface segregation). Low-energy ion scattering has been applied to analyze the composition of the outermost layer of a number of binary systems after different treatments. It is also particularly useful as a complement to other methods with different probing depths.

    These examples will show the advantages and limitations of the technique and will lead to a short discussion of the present understanding of the underlying physics.


    surface analysis, ion scattering spectroscopy, chemisorption, surface structure, ion-induced desorption, sputtering

    Author Information:

    Taglauer, E
    scientific staff, Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, EURATOM Association, Garching,

    Heiland, W
    scientific staff, Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, EURATOM Association, Garching,

    Committee/Subcommittee: E42.05

    DOI: 10.1520/STP38655S