Fracture and commercial float glass surfaces have been analyzed in a Cameca IMS‐3f spectrometer using 18O− bombardment. Sample charging was controlled through the use of different combinations of a gold grid and thin gold coating. Depth profiles have been quantified with relative sensitivity factors (RSFs) that were determined from fracture surfaces of float glasses of known composition. The sodium and potassium RSFs have been found to be more sensitive to the method of charge compensation than the RSFs of the other elements in the glass. The integrity of the sodium signal is not guaranteed by the presence of a grid on the sample surface. Depth profiles of fracture surfaces show unexpected gradients that can extend to 100 nm, complicating the interpretation of profiles obtained from manufactured surfaces. The calculation of the atomic fraction of all the elements in the glass is difficult within ∼300 nm of the surface owing to effects from the measured oxygen signal. Fortunately, the composition of the glass as expressed in mole percent of the oxides is more reliable, but still not free of artifacts. The results of these studies and those performed on similar glasses and materials in other laboratories suggest that, regardless of the primary beam, fracture surface analysis should precede the analyses of treated surfaces, especially if quantitative information is required within 100 nm of the surface.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry