VAMAS interlaboratory study on organic depth profiling

A. G. Shard, S. Ray, M. P. Seah, L. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present the results of a VAMAS (Versailles project on Advanced Materials and Standards) interlaboratory study on organic depth profiling, in which twenty laboratories submitted data from a multilayer organic reference material. Individual layers were identified using a range of different sputtering species (C60 n+, Cs+, SF5 + and Xe+), but in this study only the C60 n+ ions were able to provide truly 'molecular' depth profiles from the reference samples. The repeatability of profiles carried out on three separate days by participants was shown to be excellent, with a number of laboratories obtaining better than 5% RSD (relative standard deviation) in depth resolution and sputtering yield, and better than 10% RSD in relative secondary ion intensities. Comparability between laboratories was also good in terms of depth resolution and sputtering yield, allowing useful relationships to be found between ion energy, sputtering yield and depth resolution. The study has shown that organic depth profiling results can, with care, be compared on a day-to-day basis and between laboratories. The study has also validated three approaches that significantly improve the quality of organic depth profiling: sample cooling, sample rotation and grazing angles of ion incidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1240-1250
Number of pages11
JournalSurface and Interface Analysis
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011


  • molecular depth profiling
  • SIMS
  • sputtering
  • XPS

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