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Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis

Ion-Beam Techniques

  1. François Schiettekatte,
  2. Martin Chicoine

Published Online: 12 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471266965.com140

Characterization of Materials

Characterization of Materials

How to Cite

Schiettekatte, F. and Chicoine, M. 2012. Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis. Characterization of Materials. 1–14.

Author Information

  1. Département de Physique, Université de Montréal, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 OCT 2012


This chapter presents the elastic recoil detection (ERD) technique, an excellent complement to Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and particle-induced x-ray emission (PIXE) for H detection on 0.5–2 MV accelerators. ERD with an absorber foil is easy to implement, featuring excellent sensitivity to light elements (H, He, Li) but with moderate depth resolution. This can be markedly improved by means of an electrostatic filter in place of the absorber. ERD using a heavy ion (HI) beam offers the possibility of acquiring a distinct spectrum for each element since the elements making the target are detected. HI-ERD is therefore often more sensitive than RBS for which the signals of the different elements are superimposed on each other. The higher stopping power of HI gives access to improved depth resolution. If, historically, HI-ERD required multi-MV accelerators, recent implementations have been developed on 1.7 MV machines, the size used for RBS. However, more sophisticated detection systems are required to achieve such mass-resolved, higher relative energy-resolution detection. The larger uncertainty regarding the HI stopping power value also introduces higher uncertainty on the depth scale. Beam-induced depth-profile modification must always be monitored and can become significant with HI.


  • elastic recoil detection;
  • light elements;
  • heavy ions;
  • time-of-flight;
  • ionization chamber