Complementary techniques for the characterization of thin film Ti/Nb multilayers

A. Genc, R. Banerjee, G.B. Thompson, D.M. Maher, H.L. Fraser, Andrew Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


An aberration corrector on the probe-forming lens of a scanning TEM (STEM) equipped with an electron energy-loss spectrometer (EELS) and X-ray energy-dispersive spectrometer (XEDS) has been employed to investigate the compositional variations as a function of length scale in nanoscale Ti/Nb metallic multilayers. The composition profiles of EELS and XEDS were compared with the profiles obtained from the complementary technique of 3D atom probe tomography. At large layer widths (h≥7 nm, where h is the layer width) of Ti and Nb, XEDS composition profiles of Ti/Nb metallic multilayers are in good agreement with the EELS results. However, at reduced layer widths (h≈2 nm), profiles of EELS and atom probe exhibited similar compositional variations, whereas XEDS results have shown a marked difference. This difference in the composition profiling of the layers has been addressed with reference to the effects of beam broadening and the origin of the signals collected in these techniques. The advantage of using EELS over XEDS for these nanoscaled multilayered materials is demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1276-1281
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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