We have investigated the merits of fullerene cluster ions as projectiles in time-of-flight secondary neutral mass spectrometry (ToF-SNMS) sputter depth profiling of an Ni:Cr multilayer sample similar to the corresponding NIST depth profiling standard. It is shown that sputter erosion under bombardment with C60+ ions of kinetic energies between 10 and 20 keV provides good depth resolution corresponding to interface widths of several nanometres. This depth resolution is maintained during the complete removal of the multilayer stack with a total thickness of 500 nm. This finding is in contrast to the case where atomic Ga+ projectile ions of comparable kinetic energy are used, demonstrating the unique features of cluster projectiles in sputter depth profiling.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry