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CCQM Pilot Study P-140; Quantitative Surface Analysis of Multi-Element Alloy Films



David S. Simons, Christopher W. Szakal, William A. Osborn, Kyung Joong Kim


A pilot study for the quantitative surface analysis of multi-element alloy films has been performed by the Surface Analysis Working Group (SAWG) of the Consultative Committee for Amount of Substance (CCQM). The aim of this pilot study is to ensure the equivalency in the measurement capability of national metrology institutes for the quantification of multi-element alloy films. A Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) film with non-uniform depth distribution was chosen as a representative multi-element alloy film. The atomic fractions of the reference and the test CIGS films were certified by isotope dilution - inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry. A total number counting (TNC) method was used as a method to determine the signal intensities of the constituent elements, which are compared with their certified atomic fractions. The atomic fractions of the CIGS films were measured by various methods, such as Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS), Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis and Electron Probe Micro Analysis (EPMA) with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (EDX). Fifteen laboratories from eight National Metrology Institutes (NMIs), one Designated Institute (DI) and six non-NMIs participated in this pilot study. Although the average atomic fractions of 18 data sets showed rather poor relative standard deviations of about 5.5 % to 6.8 %, they were greatly improved to about 1.5 % to 2.2 % by excluding 5 strongly deviating data sets from the average atomic fractions. In this pilot study, the average expanded uncertainties of SIMS, XPS, AES, XRF and EPMA were 3.84%, 3.68%, 3.81%, 2.88% and 2.90%, respectively. These values are much better than those in the key comparison K-67 for composition of a Fe-Ni alloy film. As a result, the quantification of CIGS films using the TNC method was found to be a good candidate as a subject for a CCQM key comparison.


AES, CIGS, copper indium gallium selenide, EPMA, pilot study, SIMS, XPS, XRF


Simons, D. , Szakal, C. , Osborn, W. and , K. (2015), CCQM Pilot Study P-140; Quantitative Surface Analysis of Multi-Element Alloy Films, Metrologia (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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Created October 1, 2015, Updated January 27, 2020