Shape, size, and atomic composition analysis of nanostructures in 3D by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


The emergence of novel micro- and nanofabrication tools lead to the targeted research of highly ordered three-dimensional nanosystems, constructed from regular building blocks like spheres, cylinders, bricks, pyramids, which can be used in a wide range of applications. As a consequence, the exploration of the potential and limits of efficient analytical techniques to characterize structured nanosystems became a significant task. In this work the scope of conventional Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) analysis is extended to investigate highly ordered periodic nanostructures in three dimensions. Hexagonally arranged spherical and ellipsoidal silica particles, rectangular gold nano-arrays, and embedded structures in Si substrates and silica particles are analyzed. It is shown that the shape of the measured spectra can be correlated with the shape of individual nano-objects through geometrical considerations. The evaluation of the recorded data for different sample tilt angles can be carried out with the Monte-Carlo type 3D simulation model cell concept considering the details of the applied measurement geometry. It is demonstrated that macrobeam 3D-RBS can provide valuable information on the shape, size, spacing, and atomic composition of nanostructured samples as well as on nanoscale atomic transport processes and consequently, it can be utilized as a highly precise, non-destructive characterization tool for nanotechnology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 2013



  • 3D Rutherford backscattering spectrometry
  • Ion beam analysis
  • Nanopatterning
  • Nanosphere lithography
  • Periodic nanostructures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

Cite this