Neglected and hidden errors in the quantification of Auger electron spectroscopy
Two types of errors made in the quantification of Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) are discussed in this paper. The first error is found in the discretization of the sample into layers parallel to the surface. It is shown that the conventional integral expression and the (discrete) summation differ in the calculated surface concentration value if the inelastic mean free path (IMFP) and interlayer distances vary from alloy to element. It is found that the disagreement may be as large as 50% for small IMFPs. The second error (or rather the absence of any indication of such errors) manifests itself in the four-way ratio of the intensities, i.e., I A >I B sub> elem > I B >I A sub> elem >, in the determination of the homogeneous surface concentration X i sub> φ >. Any error made in the determination of X i sub> φ > is hidden by the requirement that X A sub> φ > + X B sub> φ > = 1. It is proposed that the four-way ratio be split into two ratios, each yielding the respective concentration, and that the sum be used as an error indication.(Author abstract)
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