Hope College Physics Department
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2013
Project Summary


Project Title: Analysis of Thin Semiconducting Films’ Thickness and Stoichiometry
Student Name: Matthew Weiss
Student's Home Institution: Hope College
Research Advisor: Dr. Paul DeYoung and Dr. Stephen Remillard
Source of Support:

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

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.

Publications and Presentations: