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Content archived on 2024-06-10

A novel approach to X-Ray fluorescence micro-analysis


Foreseen Results

The proposed technique involves the use of a repetitive laser-plasma x-ray source and detection of fluorescence radiation by advanced multilayer mirror analyzers. High sensitivity down to 0; 1 ppm and resolution are achieved due to a high excitation beam intensity on the sample and advanced multilayer optics for efficient spectral analysis of the fluorescence radiation.

Using this approach it is expected to meet the high specifications to the surface impurity analysis set by microelectronics industry; thereby promoting table-top; low-cost materials analysis.
X-Ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) stands a long tradition as a powerful analysis technique for materials research. The range of applications spans matured industrial usage in for instance wafer inspection in semiconductor fabrication; as well as exploratory scientific research of new materials like in silicon solar cells. XRF constitutes a non-destructive method for determination of microscopic quantities of elements without the need for extensive sample preparation.

Despite this wide spread usage; and a fast growing interest in impurity control in microelectronics and environmental research; two general fields of applications have not yet been assessed successfully.

These are :

the analysis of light elements with atomic number below 10; including important materials like boron or oxygen; and
the ability to perform measurements with spacial resolution with other x-ray sources than large scale sources like synchrotron radiation facilities.

This proposal aims at achieving a novel approach to XRF micro-analysis and pursues two principal interrelated objectives :

development of an analysis technique with state-of-the-art characteristics for light elements with atomic number below 10; i.e. to demonstrate trace detection limits on the order of 1pg/cm2 for elements like Li; Be; B; C; N; O and F; and a spatial resolution on the sample of down to 1 mm.
to make this XRF micro-analysis suitable for a small scale laboratory and hence accessible to larger group of users from research and industry.

Call for proposal

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Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoekder Materie - FOM
EU contribution
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3430 BE Nieuwegein

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Participants (5)