Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS)

The biggest advantage of RBS is its ability to generate quantitative elemental composition profiles (over several hundred of nanometers), making this technique extremely useful for the electronic industry.

As the name suggests, the technique is based on the famous Rutherford Experiment: the sample is bombarded with light ions (H, He, Li, etc.) having approximately 1 – 3 MeV of energy. The ions are then backscattered, collected by a solid-state detector and analysed with specialized software, generating energy distribution curves. This data can be used to determine the nature and the distribution of elements inside the sample. Le RBS est une méthode quantitative et non-destructive, idéale pour des profils en profondeur.

Paramètres d’analyse

Type of samples: Inorganic solids
Type of information: elemental
Precision: Quantitative
Detection limit: 0.001 atomic %
Depth of analysis: a few hundreds of nanometers
Smallest measurable area: 1 mm in diameter


– Analysis of thin films or electronic materials

– Concentration profiles




-One of the best methods to obtain concentration profiles
-Good detection limit for most elements

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

RBS has been used to study the segregation of manganese ionically implanted indium phosphide. The study showcased Mn segregation near the surface after annealing and a crystallization of the layer damaged by implantation. 

Elements detected : Carbon – Uranium

Resolution/sensibility : 0.001 – 10 at%

Depth resolution : 3 nm

Lateral resolution : 2 mm

Model: Tandetron (1.7 MV) and Tandem (6 MV) accelerators

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