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Microsc Microanal. 2011 Oct;17(5):728-51. doi: 10.1017/S1431927611000523. Epub 2011 Sep 12.

Comprehensive comparison of various techniques for the analysis of elemental distributions in thin films.

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  • 1Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Hahn-Meitner-Platz 1, 14109 Berlin, Germany.


The present work shows results on elemental distribution analyses in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films for solar cells performed by use of wavelength-dispersive and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) in a scanning electron microscope, EDX in a transmission electron microscope, X-ray photoelectron, angle-dependent soft X-ray emission, secondary ion-mass (SIMS), time-of-flight SIMS, sputtered neutral mass, glow-discharge optical emission and glow-discharge mass, Auger electron, and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, by use of scanning Auger electron microscopy, Raman depth profiling, and Raman mapping, as well as by use of elastic recoil detection analysis, grazing-incidence X-ray and electron backscatter diffraction, and grazing-incidence X-ray fluorescence analysis. The Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films used for the present comparison were produced during the same identical deposition run and exhibit thicknesses of about 2 μm. The analysis techniques were compared with respect to their spatial and depth resolutions, measuring speeds, availabilities, and detection limits.

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