- Electron Microscopy (EM)
- Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF SIMS)
- X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)
- Low Energy Ion Scattering (LEIS)
- Digital Optical Microscopy (OM)
Incorporating market leading AXIS technology including coaxial charge neutralization, magnetic immersion lens and delay-line photoelectron detection with completely automated sample handling the AXIS Nova has a very compact footprint.
High Resolution Spectroscopy and Selected Area Spectroscopy
In spectroscopy mode the large radius hemispherical sector analyser (HSA) ensures excellent photoelectron transmission guaranteeing high sensitivity and high energy resolution. Small spot spectroscopy is achieved by inserting an aperture into the electrostatic lens column forming a virtual probe at the surface
This approach to small area analysis removes problems of sample charging and X-ray induced degradation associated with micro-focused X-ray sources. Small spot spectra can be acquired from areas as small as 10µm diameter from any point within the field of view of the lens. A unique electrostatic deflection system allows the position of the virtual probe to be deflected across the surface of the sample. The position for acquisition of small spot spectra can be defined by a simple mouse click from a parallel photoelectron image with the advantage that there is no need for translation of the sample. Alternatively the high resolution in-situ optical microscope image of the sample may be used to define the XPS analysis position directly.
The X-ray source on the AXIS Nova is based on a large 500mm Rowland circle geometry ensuring less energy dispersion in the focused X-ray spot than systems based on smaller Rowland circles. This guarantees the highest energy resolution as demonstrated by a FWHM <0.48eV for Ag 3d. The Al Kα X-rays are monochromated by a single toroidal backplane for ease of alignment of the X-ray spot with the analysis position. The X-ray anode is engineered to allow indexed movement of the anode surface with respect to the cathode. Thus new anode surface may be exposed as required without breaking vacuum. The availability of 10 anode positions significantly increases the useful lifetime of the anode.
Quantitative Parallel Imaging
In parallel imaging mode photoelectrons at a discrete kinetic energy (binding energy) are focused on the two-dimensional photoelectron detector producing a direct image of the surface without scanning. The relative position of the photoelectrons is maintained as they pass through the SMA allowing acquisition of parallel images in a matter of seconds in contrast to the slower pixel by pixel acquisition of XPS mapping. The speed of parallel image acquisition has the obvious advantage of reducing X-ray exposure to delicate samples. Using a 256 x 256 pixel array, parallel XPS images of the sample surface with a spatial resolution of <3µm can be acquired. Elemental or chemical differences may be easily imaged even if they are not visible by optical inspection. The properties and design of the SMA mean that the parallel images have both high spatial and high energy resolution. Data (below) show hydrocarbon and C-F chemical state images for a plasma patterned sample. images may also used to define the analysis position for small spot selected are spectra without translating the sample.
Ion SourcesThe AXIS Nova may be configured with a standard monoatomic Ar+ ion source, the poly-aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) ion source or the Gas Cluster Ion Source (GCIS) depending on the type of samples to be profiled.
The monatomic Ar+ ion source (Minibeam 4) operates with continuously variable beam energies between 4 keV and 50 eV. The precision ion column incorporates a bend for neutral suppression as well as the ability to operate in floating mode producing high current densities at low ion energies for improved interface resolution and fast etch rates even at low ion acceleration voltage.
The poly-aromatic hydrocarbon ion source (Minibeam 5) is a dual mode ion source, using either coronene (C24H12+) or monatomic Ar+ ions for sputter profiling. Using the ion source in coronene mode allows the depth profiling of organic samples whilst the ability to switch to Ar+ ions retains the capability of successfully profiling inorganic and metallic samples. The coronene is sublimed in a PID controlled oven and ionised by electron impact, analogous to Ar+ mode. The ions are extracted from the source region, accelerated to maximum energy of 20 keV (coronene) or 5 keV (Ar) focussed using standard ion optics. The Minibeam 5 incorporates a Wien velocity filter to select the C24H12+ or C24H12++ ions as required.
The Minibeam 6 is an Ar Gas Cluster Ion Source (GCIS) capable of generating Arn+ clusters consisting of hundreds or even thousands of Ar atoms. As the energy of the ion is shared by all atoms in the cluster the energy per projectile atom, or partition energy, can be as low as a few electron volts such that cluster ions only sputter material from the near-surface region leaving the subsurface layer undisturbed. The use of cluster ions for sputter depth profiling organic materials has lead to successful depth profiles from many different types of modern layer materials such as organic light emitting diodes and organic photovoltaics. Large Ar clusters are formed by isentropic adiabatic cooling of the gas as it expands from high pressure into the vacuum of the source region through a de Laval nozzle. The Ar clusters are ionised by electron impact and accelerated up to a maximum of 20 keV along the ion column. A Wien velocity filter is used to narrow the sampled range of cluster size with the median cluster size varied between Ar500+ to Ar2000+. The Minibeam 6 can also be operated in the standard monoatomic Ar+ mode which is better suited to depth profiling inorganic materials.
All control and status read-backs are displayed in the acquisition software with pre-defined operating conditions provided in a look-up table. As expected for the level of automation of the AXIS Nova, the argon gas supply for the ion source can be turned on and off as required during unattended operation.
When used in parallel imaging mode photoelectrons with 2D spatial distribution are incident on the DLD. The fast DLD control electronics convert the electron arrival position on each of the two delay-line anodes into an x, y co-ordinate for every electron event. Integrating the signals over several seconds allows the generation of truly quantitative elemental or chemical images of the surface over a 65,500 pixel array. In the highest magnification imaging mode the spatial resolution at the surface is <3µm. A significant advantage of the digital DLD technology is that the system has inherent low noise characteristics with spike immunity assured.
Sample HandlingThe AXIS Nova sample handling and platen navigation system integrates in-situ optical microscopes with the acquisition software for easy, rapid definition of sample analysis positions. Both full platen (110mm diameter field of view) and high magnification (2mm field of view) high resolution optical images can be saved into a dataset and recalled for sample positioning. A large view po
Sample entry chamber (SEC)
Sample elevator (3 platen storage positions)
Turbomolecular pump (250l/sec) (oil free option)
Cold cathode wide range pressure gauge
236mm ID gate valve
Sample analysis chamber (SAC)
Stainless steel with Mu metal screening
Ion pump with cryoshield
Auxiliary pumping by titanium sublimation pump
Cold cathode wide range pressure gauge
High power Al monochromator
500mm Rowland circle
Single quartz toroidal backplane
Indexed moveable anode face
Full computer control with read-back and interlocks
ELECTRON ENERGY ANALYSER
180° hemispherical analyser
165mm mean radius
Spherical mirror analyser
Fixed analyser transmission (FAT) mode
MCP stack and delay-line detector
Scanned and snapshot spectroscopy modes
2D imaging mode
Coaxial low energy electron source
Standard 110mm diameter plane surface
ARXPS platen for 0 - 85° sample rotation
Compucentric rotation platen
Continuous 360° rotation about the vertical axis
Compucentric rotation about a point off central axis of platen
AUTOMATION AND SAMPLE VIEWING
5 axis software control of sample stage (platen dependent)
Software control of platen exchange
Automated small area selection
Optical microscope in SEC (110mm field of view)
High resolution optical microscope in SAC (2mm field of view)