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STRATAGem discussion board


John Donovan:
This board is for discussing thin film software, modeling and corrections (generally) using Probe for EPMA for multi-voltage acquisition of x-ray intensities and correction of thin film geometries.  As many of you probably know, the EPMA instrument is ideal for accurately characterizing thin film compositions. After all, thin films are simply a trace element problem with an additional geometry correction, and microprobe is *excellent* for characterizing trace elements.  See the PPT attached below comparing EDS vs. WDS for thin film and trace elements.  In fact in my UofO lab, we have successfully measured thin films as thin as 1 to 2 nm on a substrate of Au!

One of my dreams is that someday the majority of materials scientists will realize the power of the electron microprobe for these sorts of characterizations.

Basically Probe for EPMA can automate the acquisition of multiple beam energies on standards and unknowns, and export deadtime, background, beam drift, standard drift and *interference* corrected k-ratios to STRATAGem for thin film geometry corrections. There are certain caveats if the same measured element is present in both the thin film and the substrate, but that is a another topic for discussion.

And just in case you need to convince a material scientist that they should utilize EPMA for thin film characterization, please see the attached powerpoint below (please login to see attachments) that might help make the case.  It's from a talk I gave in 2011, but without a bunch of EPMA basics.

Here attached below (login to see attachments) are two documents used in our lab, written up by Julie Chouinard, on how to reprocess thin film data using STRATAGem and Probe for EPMA.

Note that the STRATAGem output format in Probe for EPMA can also be used for BadgerFilm.


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