Peeling Back the Layers
Pulsed glow discharge TOF-MS allows fast, direct analysis of complex thin-coated materials.
Jorge Pisonero Castro |
A plethora of innovative materials are produced by depositing thin and ultrathin coatings on different substrates. For instance, hard disks able to store terabytes of information are based on multiple magnetic and non-magnetic nano-layers. Similarly, the latest photovoltaic cells consist of nano and micro layers of different elements.
The mechanical, optical, magnetic, and/or thermal properties of these materials are directly related to their chemical composition, including the elements used, their distribution within the layers, and the presence of disruptive trace elements. To make sure the layers are as they should be, we need solid analytical techniques that are able to provide fast multi-elemental chemical analyses with high depth resolution (to monitor the different layers) and high sensitivity (to detect major, minor and trace elements).
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