Inter-laboratory comparison: Quantitative surface analysis of thin Fe-Ni alloy films



An international interlaboratory comparison of the measurement capabilities of four National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and one Designated Institute (DI) in the determination of the chemical composition of thin Fe-Ni alloy films was conducted via a key comparison (K-67) of the Surface Analysis Working Group of the Consultative Committee for Amount of Substance. This comparison was made using XPS (four laboratories) and AES (one laboratory) measurements. The uncertainty budget of the measured chemical composition of a thin alloy film was dominated by the uncertainty of the certified composition of a reference specimen which had been determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry using the isotope dilution method. Pilot study P-98 showed that the quantification using relative sensitivity factors (RSFs) of Fe and Ni derived from an alloy reference sample results in much more accurate result in comparison to an approach using RSFs derived from pure Fe and Ni films. The individual expanded uncertainties of the participants in the K-67 comparison were found to be between 2.88 and 3.40 atomic %. The uncertainty of the key comparison reference value (KCRV) calculated from individual standard deviations and a coverage factor (k) of 2 was 1.23 atomic %. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.