Near-Surface Elemental Analysis of Solids by Neutron Depth Profiling
Jamie L. Weaver, Robert G. Downing
Neutron Depth Profiling (NDP) is an analytical nuclear technique for the determination of elemental mass as a function of depth into a samples surface. It is suitable for characterizing a few select elements in most solid materials to depths of micrometers and with the resolution of 10s of nanometers. The most commonly measured elements are helium, lithium, boron and nitrogen. Applications include the study of implanted boron in semiconductor substrates, measurement of helium embedded into first shielding wall alloys/metals used in fusion reactors, lithium diffusion through all solid-state thin-film batteries, and nitrogen penetration into corroded building materials. A brief review of past NDP research as well as NDP instrumentation development both at NIST and other national and international NDP research facilities will be presented. Future research opportunities and current development projects will be discussed.