Overcoming pulse mixing and signal tailing in laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry depth profiling
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Journal of analytical atomic spectrometry. - London
, p. 1337-1343
University of Antwerp
The laser ablation-induced plasma was used as a composition-con trolled source for ion implantation in Si crystals. Then, laser ablation in combination with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used for the elemental depth profiling of the implanted samples. Monte Carlo simulations permitted us to conclude that a depth resolution of tens of nm would be necessary to define the shape of the implantation profiles, as is obtained using XPS and RBS, whereas a hundred nm depth resolution is sufficient to determine the total implanted dose. The detection power of LA-ICP-MS would routinely allow rapid analytical control on the trace level implanted dose. Nevertheless, this technique is limited in terms of depth profiling resolution due to pulse mixing and signal tailing induced during the aerosol transport. Raw signal processing procedures were developed for the minimization of shapeline dispersion, deconvolution of pulse mixing and more appropriate assessment of the implanted profiles. Shapeline dispersion could be corrected for by determining the signal waning constant and implementing this information for a non-affine alibi transformation of the LA-ICP-MS signal traces. Pulse mixing deconvolution was attained with an algorithm that considered accumulated signal intensity due to pulse-on-pulse stacking, i.e., the latest pulse on top of all antecedent individual pulses' exponential tails proportionally.