Thickness measurement using ion beam techniques
Pitsoane, Ramasukudu Gabriel
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Surface layer coatings, which are thin films in the range of micrometer and nanometer are of utmost importance. These layers have many applications and control processes like corrosion, friction, wearing and adhesion. Therefore the search for layers with satisfactory surface properties for different applications is needed. Thickness measurements were evaluated in this study using PIXE in conjunction with RBS. Different samples were evaluated using both the solid-state chamber and the nuclear microprobe. The energies of 2.0 MeV alpha particles, 2.5 MeV and 3.0 MeV protons were used in this study. RBS when compared to PIXE showed low sensitivity towards light elements. The High purity Germanium detector also found it difficult to resolve peaks of elements (Magnesium and. Aluminum) that were close to one another. The GeoPIXE software showed inconsistent results for all the measurements. However the results showed good agreement between the two techniques. The overall observation of the study was that PIXE has shown its ability to measure thickness and that the inconsistency in the results from GeoPIXE software makes it difficult to trust the software for analysis of the results.