Scanning Electron Microscopy


Electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA) is receiving increased attention as a surface-sensitive failure analysis technique because of several recent developments. These are: first - substantially improved spatial resolution, allowing a much broader range of problems to be studied; second - new ways to apply analytical results to practical problems, resulting from better technical understanding of ESCA and better data reduction techniques; and third - the development of sample handling systems which can handle large, outgassing samples, making ESCA a relatively non-destructive technique.

In this paper we consider ESCA's niche as a surface analysis tool, and discuss the impact of the new features mentioned above on the types of analytical problems we have routinely encountered in failure analysis and problem solving for industry. It should be noted that this technique is also known as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The terms ESCA and XPS describe the same technique.

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