APT Analysis of Semiconductors, Magnetic and Oxide Materials

Thursday, November 13, 2014 8:00 AM in Room 301

Start Invited? Item
8:00 AM AP+AS+MC+NS+SS-ThM-1 A Vision for Atom Probe Tomography
Thomas F. Kelly (CAMECA Instruments Inc)

Atom Probe Tomography has undergone revolutionary changes in the past two decades. It is tempting to think that these changes are likely to be followed by a period of adjustment and maturation but not continued innovation. However, there are still many active opportunities for development of atom probe tomography. Some of these new technologies are already upon us. There are recent major developments in data reconstruction, detector technology, data mining, and correlative microscopy. Furthermore, application areas are evolving at a rapid pace. The equipment needed to serve some applications will necessarily be developing alongside the more fundamental operating components of atom probes.

This talk with review some recent developments that are just emerging and will offer a vision for where the field is headed. Some of the unproven concepts needed to reach this vision will be highlighted.

8:40 AM AP+AS+MC+NS+SS-ThM-3 Interfaces in Semiconductors: Application to Photovoltaic Materials
Oana Cojocaru-Mirédin (Max Planck Institut fur Eisenforschung GmbH, Germany); Roland Würz (Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg, Germany); Dierk Raabe (Max Planck Institut fur Eisenforschung GmbH, Germany)

Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS), Cu2ZnSnSe4 (CZTSe), and multicrystalline Si (mc-Si) solar cells possess a high efficiency [1], despite the polycrystalline structure of the absorber layer. One of the major factors controlling the cell efficiency is the diffusion of the impurities during the fabrication process into the absorber layer and to the p-n junction [2]. However, the interaction between the defects and the impurities at the internal interfaces is not completely understood. This is due to a lack of information on the local chemical changes across the internal interfaces at the nanoscale.

As a step towards a better understanding of the impurity redistribution at the internal interfaces, we have developed novel approaches of preparing site-specific atom probe specimens using combined focused ion beam (FIB), (scanning) transmission electron microscopy ((S)TEM) and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD). These approaches allow selected GBs in polycrystalline CIGS, CZTSe and mc-Si layers to be studied by atom probe tomography (APT).

Several examples of correlative EBSD-TEM-APT (see Figure 1) and STEM-APT (see Figure 2) studies will be presented in this work. Using APT, segregation of impurities at the GBs was directly observed. APT data of various types of GBs will be presented and discussed with respect to the possible effects on the cell efficiency.

[1] Empa [Internet]. Empa.ch: A new world record for solar cell efficiency, 2013. Available from: http://www.empa.ch/plugin/template/empa/3/131438/---/l=2 [cited 2013 January 18].

[2] J. L. Shay, S. Wagner, H. M. Kasper, Appl. Phys. Lett. 27 (1975) 89, S. Yip and I. Shih, Proceedings of the 1st World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (IEEE, Piscataway, 1994), p.210.

9:20 AM AP+AS+MC+NS+SS-ThM-5 Analysis of Discontinuous InGaN Quantum Wells by Correlated Atom Probe Tomography, Micro-Photoluminescence, and X-ray Diffraction
James Riley, Xiaochen Ren (Northwestern University); Daniel Koleske (Sandia National Laboratories); Lincoln Lauhon (Northwestern University)
In(x)Ga(1-x)N quantum wells are the foundation of solid-state lighting, with excellent quantum efficiencies despite high densities of defects. While there is as yet no universally accepted explanation for the high-efficiency, it is clear that carrier localization plays a role. Consistent with this picture, the quantum efficiencies of some samples can be improved by annealing and hydrogen gas to produce discontinuous quantum wells. However, the standard analysis of quantum well widths and composition by high-resolution x-ray diffraction is complicated by such complex morphologies. Specifically, the influence of surface roughness, and interfacial diffuseness, and planar continuity may be difficult to deconcolve. We will describe correlated analysis of continuous and discontinuous InGaN quantum wells by atom probe tomography, micro-photoluminescence, high-resolution x-ray diffraction, and atomic force microscopy. We find that precise composition profiles extracted from atom probe analysis enable refinement of x-ray diffraction peak fitting in the case of continuous quantum wells, and a better estimate of indium mole fraction and quantum well width. For discontinuous quantum wells, atom probe analysis enables simple models to be integrated into routine x-ray diffraction modeling to enable reliable extraction of indium mole fraction and better correlation with photoluminescence spectra. Correlation of atomic force microscopy tomographic images and micro-photoluminescence spectra over common sample areas, together with site-specific lift out techniques, will be presented to explore the surprising coexistence of high quantum efficiency and inhomogeneous broadening due to the complex underlying quantum well morphology.
9:40 AM AP+AS+MC+NS+SS-ThM-6 Atom Probe Tomography Characterization of Doped Epitaxial Oxide Multi-Layered Structures
Nitesh Madaan, Arun Devaraj, Zhijie Xu, Manjula Nandasiri, Suntharampillai Thevuthasan (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Atom probe tomography is the state of the art 3D microscopy technique with sub-nanometer scale spatial resolution and ppm level mass sensitivity. For complex heterogeneous materials the accurate artifact-free reconstruction of collected data is quite a challenging task due to varying local evaporation fields leading to non-hemispherical evolution in the tip shape during the APT analysis. In this work we utilized laser assisted APT to analyze alternate multilayer oxide thin film structure of Samaria doped ceria (SDC) and Scandia stabilized zirconia (ScSZ), grown epitaxially on sapphire substrate, which is potentially useful for solid oxide fuel cells due to their high ionic conductivity. By analyzing the sample in different orientations (top-down, side-ways, and back-side) and comparing with dynamic tip shape evolution using level set simulations for similar geometries, an attempt was made to understand and decouple the APT evaporation artifacts from the real physical sample features. This study would help provide insights to improve the APT reconstruction process for complex multi-layered thin film materials.

11:00 AM AP+AS+MC+NS+SS-ThM-10 Atom Probe Tomography and Field Evaporation of Insulators and Semiconductors: Theoretical Issues
Hans Kreuzer (Dalhousie University, Canada)
After reviewing the physics and chemistry in high electrostatic fields and summarizing the theoretical results for Atom Probe Tomography of metallic tips, we turn to the new challenges associated with insulators and semiconductors with regard to local fields inside and on the surface of such materials. The recent (theoretical) discovery that in high fields the band gap in these materials is drastically reduced to the point where at the evaporation field strength it vanishes will be crucial in our discussion.
11:40 AM AP+AS+MC+NS+SS-ThM-12 Atom Probe Tomography Investigation of the Microstructure of Multistage Annealed Nanocrystalline SmCo2Fe2B Alloy with Enhanced Magnetic Properties
Xiujuan Jiang, Arun Devaraj (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory); Bala Balamurugan (University of Nebraska-Lincoln); Jun Cui (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory); Jeffrey Shield (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Permanent magnets have garnered great research interest for energy applications. The microstructure and chemistry of a permanent magnet candidate—SmCo2Fe2B melt-spun alloy—after multistage annealing was investigated using high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and atom probe tomography. The multistage annealing resulted in an increase in both the coercivity and magnetization as is desired for permanent magnets design. The presence of Sm(Co,Fe)4B (1:4:1) and Sm2(Co,Fe)17Bx (2:17:x) magnetic phases were confirmed using both techniques. Fe2B at a scale of ~ 5 nm was found by HRTEM precipitating within the 1:4:1 phase after the second-stage annealing. Ordering within the 2:17:x phase was directly identified both by the presence of antiphase boundaries observed by TEM and the interconnected isocomposition surface network found in 3D atom probe results in addition to radial distribution function analysis. These observed variations in the local chemistry after the secondary annealing were considered pivotal in improving the magnetic properties.

12:00 PM AP+AS+MC+NS+SS-ThM-13 Detector Dead-time Effects on the Accurate Measurement of Boron in Atom Probe Tomography
Frederick Meisenkothen (National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)); Ty Prosa (CAMECA Instruments Inc.); Eric Steel (NIST); R.Prakash Kolli (University of Maryland, College Park)

The atom probe tomography (APT) instrument uses a time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer to identify ions that are field ionized and evaporated from the apex of a needle-like nano-tip specimen. A pulse event, either laser or voltage, is used to trigger field evaporation and to initiate the timing sequence for the mass spectrometer. Ideally, a single atom is field evaporated during a single pulse event. However, it is also common to have multi-hit detection events where more than one ion strikes the detector between pulses. For reasons not completely understood, some elements, such as boron, are prone to field evaporate in multi-hit detection events when compared to other elements, and a large fraction of the boron signal is reportedly lost during acquisition. Obtaining an improved understanding of the field evaporation behavior of boron at different concentration levels, in view of the limited ability of the detection system to resolve multi-hit detection events, may lead to new ways to compensate for the boron signal loss.

A nominally pure boron sample was chosen as a high boron concentration material while the boron implanted silicon, NIST-SRM2137, (1E15 atoms cm-2 retained dose) was chosen as the low boron concentration material. A dual-beam FIB/SEM instrument, with an insitu lift-out system, was used to prepare the APT specimen tips from the bulk materials. A laser pulsed LEAP 4000X Si* instrument was used to acquire APT data sets for each of the specimen tips. Custom software scripts were used to filter the data sets and extract the ion information associated with specific search criteria, e.g. event multiplicity, which is the number of ions within a given multi-hit event. Ion correlation analysis was used to graphically demonstrate the detector dead-time effect. In the present work, more than 60% of the detected boron signal resided within the multi-hit detection events, for both the high and low boron concentration samples.

* Certain commercial equipment, instruments, or materials are identified in this paper in order to specify the experimental procedure adequately. Such identification is not intended to imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor is it intended to imply that the materials or equipment identified are necessarily the best available for the purpose.