Accurately quantifying the chemical compositions of metal oxide samples with X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) can be hindered by adventitious carbon contamination, typically present on the surface. Gas cluster ions do not penetrate the oxide surface, preserving chemical state information while still cleaning contamination from a sample. However, if one had the ability to provide both cluster ions and monatomic ions with a source that utilizes gentle shallow sputtering from argon cluster ions, XPS data preserves chemical state information throughout the entire profile.
The September issue of Advanced Materials and Processes published a technical spotlight on testing inorganic and organic materials with a new ion source. The XPS technique – a widely used analysis technique which provides quantitative, chemical state information for surfaces and interfaces – was highlighted.
The technique was put to the test with a sample of tantalum pentoxide. Spectra were taken at three different areas following different cleaning processes. Read the article to learn how a new monatomic and gas cluster ion source for XPS instrument uses both Ar+ and Arn+ (n>1000) gas cluster sputtering to clean surfaces and create depth profiles, and proves that cluster ions can be vital in metal oxide analysis.