Quantitative analysis of trace levels of surface contamination by X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Part II: Systematic uncertainties and absolute quantification

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Sep 28, 2017
  • Author: Nadir S. Faradzhev, Shannon B. Hill, Cedric J. Powell
  • Journal: Surface and Interface Analysis

We discuss analyses of trace levels of surface contamination using X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The problem of quantifying common sources of statistical and systematic uncertainties for these measurements is formulated in terms of the needs of extreme ultraviolet lithography, but the results and conclusions are applicable to a broad range of XPS applications. We quantify the systematic uncertainties introduced by particular cases of overlapping peaks on different substrate structures by simulating measured spectra with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Database for the Simulation of Electron Spectra for Surface Analysis (SESSA). One example demonstrates that the relative atomic concentrations of trace elements such as S, P, and halogens on a Ru surface could be dramatically overestimated if the fitting of the overlapping Ru 3d and C 1s peaks excludes the contribution from carbon. We also show how spectra generated by SESSA can be compared with measured spectra to determine absolute amounts of surface impurities on layered samples of the type used for extreme ultraviolet lithography. We provide estimates of the total uncertainty for such measurements by considering the systematic limitations of SESSA and the statistical uncertainties of the measurements. The same procedure can be employed for other multilayered materials. Finally, we describe two approaches for converting XPS detection limits for an elemental impurity in an elemental matrix to the corresponding detection limits for the impurity as a thin film on the surface of the matrix material.

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