You do what in your microprobe?! The EPMA as a multimode platform for nitride semiconductor characterization

Paul R. Edwards, G. Naresh-Kumar, Gunnar Kusch, Jochen Bruckbauer, Lucia Spasevski, Catherine G. Brasser, Michael J. Wallace, Carol Trager-Cowan, Robert W. Martin

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While the use of electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) is widespread in the geological and metallurgical sciences, it remains less prevalent in the field of semiconductor research. For these materials, trace element (i.e. dopant) levels typically lie near or beneath the detection limit of wavelength-dispersive Xray (WDX) spectrometers, while alloy compositions of ternary mixtures and multilayer structures can more readily be determined using X-ray diffraction techniques. The electron beam measurements more commonly applied to semiconductors remain transmission electron microscopy (for structural characterization), and scanning electron microscopy (topographic, optical and electrical information).

Despite this, there are many aspects of the EPMA that make it an attractive platform for all of thesetypes of semiconductor characterization, particularly when combining compositional information fromWDX with complementary and simultaneously-acquired signals. These advantages include: built-inlight optics; a stable, quantified and high-current beam; and a combined large-area and high-resolutionmapping capability. This allows the measurement of cathodoluminescence (CL), electron beam-inducedcurrent (EBIC) and electron channelling contrast imaging (ECCI) signals alongside WDX, which weapply to the investigation of visible and UV AlxInyGa1-x-yN materials, devices and nanostructures. 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2026-2027
Number of pages2
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue numberS1
Early online date1 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
EventMicroscopy & Microanalysis 2018 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 20189 Aug 2018


  • electron probe microanalysis
  • EPMA
  • electron beam
  • electron microscopy


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