Low-Energy Ion-Scattering (LEIS) spectroscopy is a technique with a unique sensitivity to the elemental composition of the top atomic layer of a solid surface. LEIS measurements of ternary silicate glasses modified with Na2O, Cs2O, CaO, and BaO show that the compositions of the as-cast (melt) surface and the in-vacuum fracture surface often differ. While the as-cast surface is usually depleted of alkali ions (Na+ or Cs+) compared to the nominal (batch) glass composition, there is often strong accumulation of the same mobile cations on the fresh fracture surface. Depth profiles obtained by sputter etching reveal elemental concentration gradients normal to the glass surface. The final concentrations often fail to reach the nominal glass composition, suggesting the likely presence of preferential sputtering effects and thereby the distortion of the measured concentration gradient. At present, the lack of reliable standards and preferential sputtering effects in the LEIS of multicomponent glasses limit somewhat the absolute chemical composition and structural information that can be obtained with this otherwise unique and powerful method of surface analysis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Materials Chemistry