Analysis of Thin Semiconducting Films’ Thickness and Stoichiometry

Student Author(s)

Zachary Diener
Matthew Weiss

Faculty Mentor(s)

Drs. Paul DeYoung and Stephen Remillard

Document Type


Event Date



The electrical properties of a semiconductor can only be determined if the sample’s thickness and stoichiometric makeup are known. The composition of thin films can be measured using Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) in a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). However due to the low stopping power of electrons, EDS is limited to analysis of the surface. When compared, EDS results are complementary to those determined by Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy (RBS). RBS provides depth-sensitive compositional analysis due to the large stopping power of alpha particles compared to protons. Unlike EDS, RBS allows for the simultaneous analysis of both the stoichiometric makeup and thickness. Semiconducting thin films composed of AgIn1-xGaxSe2, CuGaxSe2 and Ag(InGa)5Se8 deposited on glass or silicon substrates through a variety of techniques were analyzed. Modeling of some samples was straightforward; however in other samples the modeling was complicated due to various inhomogeneities.


This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant no. PHY-0969058 and by the Hope College Division of Natural and Applied Sciences.

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