Elastic recoil detection (ERD)

As with the RBS, the ERD can be used to obtain elemental concentration profiles (over a few hundred nanometers). The main difference is that it can detect all the elements from hydrogen to uranium exclusively.

Heavy ions of high energy (typically cobalt ions at 50 MeV) collide with a sample. Light atoms (H, He, C, O, etc) are ejected from the sample and collected by a solid-state detector. From the ejected atoms energy spectrum, one can deduct the depth composition profile of the sample. ERD is a quantitative and non-destructive method, mostly used for depth profiling. It is one of the few methods that can measure hydrogen concentrations.


Type of samples: Inorganic solids
Type of information: elemental
Precision: Quantitative
Detection limit: 0.1 atomic %
Depth of analysis: a few hundred nanometers
Smallest measurable area: 1 mm in diameter


-Composition of thin films

-Depth concentration profiles including light elements





-Excellent way to obtain concentration profiles
-Good detection limit for most elements
-Able to measure light elements like hydrogen


-The detection limit varies according to the elements and substrate
-Elemental composition only

Elements detected : hydrogen to uranium

Resolution: 0.1 – 1 at%

Depth resolution : 10 nm

Lateral resolution : 2 mm

Model: Tandem 6 MV accelerator

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