X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)

The Nova VERAFLEX® line of products utilizes x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), a powerful technology that has been optimized to provide the automation, speed and reliability required in today’s advanced semiconductor production environments. This technique is uniquely suited for the move to thinner films and smaller features, improving performance at each new technology node.

Highlights and Benefits

  • Surface-sensitive technique
  • Identification of the chemical element, bonding state based on emitted photoelectron energy
  • Direct quantification of number of atoms in the film from analysis of the photoelectron intensity
  • Simultaneous thickness and composition without correlation

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a surface-sensitive quantitative spectroscopic technique that is used to determine the elemental composition of thin films. This technique provides information about the chemical state and electronic state of the elements that exist within a thin film or a complex stack.

XPS spectra are obtained by exposing the film of interest to a primary x-ray which can either be absorbed by the material or scattered through the material. If the x-ray is energetic enough, it is absorbed and transfers energy to an inner shell electron. The electrons emitted because of this incident x-ray will have a kinetic energy that is representative of the chemical signature of the element. Analysis of this photoelectric effect is known as XPS.

The VeraFlex product suite has optimized various aspects of XPS technology into an innovative in-line metrology system that can operate in an automated production environment.