Application of surface roughness data for the evaluation of depth profile measurements of nanoscale multilayers

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A secondary neutral mass spectrometric (SNMS) depth profile study of electrodeposited Co/Cu multilayers was performed. Depth profile measurements were performed both in the conventional way (i.e., starting the sputtering from the final deposit surface) and in the reverse manner (i.e., detaching the multilayers from the substrate and starting the analysis from the substrate side, which was very smooth as compared to the final deposit surface). The latter method could yield significantly larger intensity fluctuations in the SNMS spectra. Surface roughness data were measured with atomic force microscopy (AFM) for multilayers with different bilayer numbers but otherwise exhibiting the same layer structure as those used for the depth profiling. The experimental AFM surface roughness evolution was used to calculate the result of the depth profile measurements quantitatively. An excellent agreement was obtained between this calculation and the SNMS measurements. It was shown that the decrease in the intensity fluctuations during the depth profile analysis stems mainly from the increase in surface roughness of the samples studied, especially in the conventional sputtering mode. It was also concluded that the thickness fluctuation of the entire multilayer deposit and that of each layer are strongly correlated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)D253-D260
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - jún. 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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