Get access

Quantification of AES depth profiling data of polycrystalline Al films with Gaussian and non-Gaussian surface height distributions


Correspondence to: J. Y. Wang, Department of Physics, Shantou University, 243 Daxue Road, Shantou, 515063 Guangdong, China. e-mail:


Sputtering-induced roughness is the main distortional factor on the depth resolution of measured depth profiles, in particular, for sputtering of polycrystalline metals. Frequently, the surface height distribution of the sputtering-induced roughness exhibits an asymmetrical feature. In such a case, a non-Gaussian height distribution function (HDF) has to be applied for the quantification of a measured depth profile. By replacing the usually applied Gaussian HDF with that of an asymmetrical triangle in the Mixing-Roughness-Information depth model, measured Auger electron spectroscopy depth profiling data of the interface of polycrystalline Al films on Si are perfectly fitted. The asymmetric triangle height distributions obtained from the best fit are a reasonable approximation of the height distributions measured by atomic force microscopy. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Get access to the full text of this article