Thin Metal Films Analysis: Sputtered Neutral Mass Spectrometry

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It’s Kamis for Thin Metal Films

Thin Metal FilmsSputtered Neutral Mass Spectrometry is perfect for analyzing thin metal films where composition, thickness and interface condition can be determined. The example presented here, shows a magnetic film stack comprising Cr, Ni, Cu and Fe. Of the different methods of data storage, magnetic hard discs still offer highly economic means for high density rapid access.

The continual move towards more and more compact read/write heads. While more closely spaced data tracks has lead to a considerable development of magnetic materials and structures for this demanding application. Analysis of the metallic layer structures used in magnetic data storage is vital for both development and quality management. Included is secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and sputtered neutral mass spectrometry (SNMS). These offering information on minor and major element composition respectively.

SIMS and SNMS

Both SIMS and SNMS use a concentrated, mono- energetic, chemically pure ion beam of typically 1-10 keV to sputter erode the surface under study. Mass spectrometry technique: all elements and isotopes may be detected, and in favorable conditions the detection limit can be in the low ppb region. However, because the ionization mechanism for SIMS takes place at the sample surface, it is very much dependent on the local chemistry and the ionized fraction can vary by several orders of magnitude. This makes SIMS ideal for trace analysis in materials of known matrix. SNMS overcomes the “matrix effect” by separating the sputtering and ionization events.


Got specific requirements or Questions about sputtering targets, evaporation material, crucible liners, metal foil, sheet, plate, or rod and wire? The technical staff at KAMIS is ready to provide expert knowledge to assist you with your project.

Therefore, contact KAMIS today at 845-628-6173 or click the blue button below for quick answers and attention from our knowledgeable staff.

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