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Pure Appl. Chem., 2004, Vol. 76, No. 6, pp. 1161-1213


Critical evaluation of the state of the art of the analysis of light elements in thin films demonstrated using the examples of SiOXNY and AlOXNY films (IUPAC Technical Report)

Sabine Dreer* and P. Wilhartitz

Abstract: The quantitative analysis of thin films containing light elements is very important in improving the coating processes and technological properties of the products. In order to review the state of the art of modern analytical techniques for such applications, the model systems SiOXNY and AlOXNY were selected. Over 1000 abstracts were screened, and the relevant literature was evaluated to give a comprehensive overview of instruments, analytical procedures and results, film types, deposition methods, and investigation goals. From more than 150 citations, the limitations, drawbacks, and pitfalls of the different methods were extracted and reviewed critically, while in addition, improvements were proposed where possible. These suggestions are combined with the newest results of investigation by the authors of this paper. Recommendations concerning the optimized combination of analytical methods for different analytical problems have been worked out on the basis of all results. Analysis of various multicomponent systems containing light elements demonstrated the applicability of the different methods of analysis in combination to all film systems with related compositions.