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Techniques & Tools Mass Spectrometry, Materials, Spectroscopy

Peeling Back the Layers

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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About the Author

Jorge Pisonero Castro

Jorge Pisonero is an Associate Professor of Physics (since 2012) at University of Oviedo (Spain), from which he obtained his PhD degree (November 2004) working on glow discharge spectroscopy. After his PhD, he was awarded a 2-year Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for a postdoctoral stay at ETH (Switzerland) to work on laser ablation-based techniques. Afterwards, Jorge obtained the prestigious “Ramon and Cajal” research contract and went back to University of Oviedo, where in collaboration with Dr Nerea Bordel established the Laser and Plasma Spectroscopy Research Group (www.unioviedo.es/gelp). His current research interests are focused on fundamentals and applications of atmospheric and low pressure GD spectroscopies, LIBS and LA-ICP-MS. Moreover, Jorge is co-author of more than 60 scientific articles and several book chapters.

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