Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) is increasingly used for the chemical analysis of solid surfaces. Typical fields of applications are identifying defects on semiconductors, grain boundary chemistry, failure analysis, interdiffusion, fracture mechanisms and surface/interface impurity determination.

Application requirements

  • Low vibration
  • High reliability
  • Low power consumption

How does it work?
Auger electron spectroscopy is a very sensitive measure method to acquire information about the elementary composition of a surface from a sample. If an atom is irradiated with a high energy electron beam or X-ray to get excited, this means that an electron which is close to the core will be leached. To bring the atom back to ground state there are two different processes. One is when an electron from a higher electron shell falls into the hole that the unhinged electron has left behind. The energy which is released in this process can be emitted in the form of a photon as a typical X-ray beam. Another possibility is that the energy can be transmitted to another electron, which then will be released out of the atom. This process called the auger effect and is named by his discoverer Pierre Auger. The energy of an auger electron depends on the atom and its connection state in the solid body. This information gives you conclusions about the composition of the sample.
The main component of an auger electron spectroscope is the analyzer, with which the electrons released from the sample can be measured. Often hemisphere analyzers are used. It has two concentric fitted hemispheres, with different electronic potential. If electrons come tangentially between the two hemispheres, only electrons with a specific energy can pass through the analyzer. This energy can be varied by adjusting the electronic potential of the hemispheres, so a large electron energy spectrum can be measured. In an alternative test method, the potential energy will be constant, and the electrons will be slowed down by the inverse voltage between the sample and the analyzer. Often both methods will be used together. To stimulate the sample, often a scanning electron microscope is used, and at the same time a picture of the surface of the sample can be collected.

Product portfolio
Because of the low vibration level required, the HiPace Plus turbopump line from Pfeiffer Vacuum is the best solution for auger electron spectroscopy. The vibration level of the HiPace Plus is significantly lower than that of standard turbopumps. Pfeiffer Vacuum can also offer you a specially developed vibration isolator to reduce the vibration level even further. As a backing pump we can offer you various dry solutions. You can choose between our dry membrane pumps, multi-stage Roots pumps or even our newly developed scroll pumps. We can also offer you different gauges in order to provide you with a customized vacuum solution.

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