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NIST Standard Reference Database 154

NIST Backscattering-Correction-Factor Database for Auger Electron Spectroscopy: Version 1.1

Last Update to Data Content:  2011    DOI:

This database provides values of backscattering correction factors (BCF) of homogeneous materials for quantitative surface analyses by Auger electron spectroscopy. These BCFs are obtained from Monte Carlo simulations based on two models of electron transport in the material, a simplified model and an advanced model. One assumption for the former model is that the primary-electron beam is unchanged, in intensity, energy or direction, within the information depth for Auger-electron emission. This assumption becomes progressively less useful as the primary energy becomes closer to the core-level ionization energy for the relevant Auger transition or for increasing angles of incidence of the primary electrons.

BCFs can be calculated from both models so that users can readily ascertain the magnitudes of differences in BCFs from each model for materials and analysis conditions of interest. Analysts can readily specify the experimental conditions of interest (primary-beam energy, primary-beam angle of incidence, and, for the advanced model, analyzer-acceptance solid angle), the likely or estimated sample composition, the subshell of the element to be ionized, one of three available formulae for the inner-shell ionization cross section, and, for the advanced model, the Auger-electron transition of interest. The user can also select different numbers of trajectories in the Monte Carlo simulations so that tradeoffs can be made between calculation time and precision of the resulting BCF value. While simulations with the simplified model are generally faster than those with the advanced model, BCFs from the advanced model are considered more reliable. The results of a BCF calculation can be stored in a file for later use.

Version 1.1 of SRD 154 was issued in July, 2015 to correct a software bug in BCF calculations for compounds and alloys using the advanced model. Previous BCF calculations for compounds and alloys with Version 1.0 of SRD 154 could have an additional uncertainty of up to 3 % due to the software bug in the sampler of elastic-scattering angles.

System Requirements: Personal computer operating on Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, or 7, and hard disc space of at least 50 MB.System

Price: No Charge

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Please click Here to view the PDF version of the Users' Guide.

NIST Standard Reference Database 154
For more information please contact:

Standard Reference Data Program National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Dr. Stop 2300
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2310
(844) 374-0183 (Toll Free)  data [at] (data[at]nist[dot]gov) (E-MAIL)

The scientific contact for the database is:

Cedric Powell
Surface and Microanalysis Science Division (837)
National Institute and Standard and Technology Gaithersburg MD 20874-8370
Phone: (301) 975-2534 email:cedric.powell [at] (cedric[dot]powell[at]nist[dot]gov)


Keywords: Auger electron spectroscopy,electron effective attenuation length,depth distribution function, surface analysis, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

Created March 28, 2011, Updated November 2, 2021