Investigation of the factors determining the SIMS depth resolution in silicon-isotope multiple layers

M. Tomita, M. Koike, H. Akutsu, S. Takeno, Y. Kawamura, Y. Shimizu, M. Uematsu, K. M. Itoh

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5 Citations (Scopus)


In order to identify their controlling factors, the depth resolution parameters for secondary ion mass spectrometry, which include the decay length and the standard deviation of the Gaussian function (also referred to as the depth resolution function), for silicon atoms in a silicon matrix with silicon-isotope multiple layers were investigated under oxygen (O 2 +) and cesium (Cs) ion bombardments with a wide ion energy range (from 200 eV to 10 keV) and with several incident angles. The use of silicon-isotope multiple layers in this investigation eliminated the chemical segregation effect caused by the sample composition. Measures were also taken to prevent ripple formation on the sputtered sample surface. The obtained depth resolution parameters were proportional to E1/2cosθ , where E is the primary ion energy per atom and θ is the incident angle relative to the surface normal. The relationships for decay length and standard deviation were different for the Cs ion, the O 2 + ion with full oxidization, and the O 2 + ion without full oxidization. The damage depth was measured by high-resolution Rutherford backscattering spectrometry and it was found that the relationships of the standard deviation versus damage depth depend only on the damage depth with a small dependence on the ion species (O 2 + / Cs +). The degree of mixing near the sputtered surface of thin silicon-isotope multiple layers bombarded by O 2 + / Cs + ions was measured using laser-assisted atom probe analysis, and the relationship of the degree of mixing with the depth resolution parameters indicated that the decay length was degraded according to the degree of mixing. Atomic mixing/sputtering simulations revealed the factors determining the depth resolution parameters for secondary ion mass spectrometry. The standard deviation is found to be mainly degraded by the damage depth, which agrees with the results obtained by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, whereas the decay length is mainly extended by the variance of the damage density profile, which is a parameter of the Gaussian function and governs the degree of mixing near the surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011803
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B:Nanotechnology and Microelectronics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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