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Auger Test, Materials Testing Innovatech Labs Innovatech Labs, a leading testing lab specializing in failure analysis, has prepared this tutorial for our customers.

This information about Auger Electron Spectroscopy, AES, is intended to help you better understand the services we provide, what types of samples are best suited for this technique and the types of data that can be obtained from it.  Since every project is unique, we invite you to contact one of our highly skilled analysts to discuss your specific needs.  Contact us today by email or phone 888-740-LABS 5227.

Details of Auger Electron Microscopy


Survey scan - identifies the elemental composition of the analyzed surface.

Multiplex scan - measures the atomic concentration of the elements identified in the survey scans. Detection limits are approximately 0.1 atom percent for most elements.

Mapping - measures the lateral distribution of elements on the surface. Spatial resolution is approximately 0.3 microns.

Depth profile - measures the distribution of elements as a function of depth into the sample. Depth resolution is dependent upon sample and sputtering parameters (less than 100 Å resolution is not unusual). Typical sputtering rate is ca. 30 Å/min.


Sample size - Maximum of ¾"x½" (18 mm x 12 mm). Height should not exceed ½" (12 mm).

Sample type - must be conductive or area of interest must be grounded properly. Insulating samples including thick insulating films (ca. 3000 Å) cannot be analyzed.

Sample compatibility - must be compatible with high vacuum environment (ca. 1x10-9 Torr).


Typical analysis time - ½ hr per sample .Depth profiles may take longer depending on the total depth being sputtered.

Reproducibility - 10% relative error (i.e. estimated error in repeated analyses), 20% absolute error (i.e. error between analysis and known standard).

Minimum area of analysis - 0.3 microns.

Unique Capabilities:

  • measuring elemental composition of small conductive areas
  • particles
  • inclusions
  • semiconductor devices