Dynamic Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (D-SIMS) is a very powerful tool for the characterization of solid surfaces. Since it is based on the detection of masses, it allows to identify all elements of the periodic table including isotopes. In addition, being among the most sensitive surface characterization techniques, elemental quantification down to ppb can be achieved. Using a sputtering ion beam, the investigation / quantification of the elemental distribution in depth can be performed with depth resolution in the nm range. Consequently, SIMS is a very useful tool for researchers developing devices dealing with semiconductors, photovoltaics and energy storage technologies among others. Throughout this contribution, I will discuss the SIMS principle and review briefly the instrumentation aspect. The second part will be devoted to several examples obtained in our lab illustrating the information that can be derived from the SIMS data. The in-depth quantification of elements incorporated either as dopant or as high content will be discussed. The presentation will be also focused on the characterization of multilayer devices and the limitation or artifacts that may be occurring during the sputtering process.
My name is Nimer Wehbe. I come from Belgium but I am originally from Lebanon where I was born and have completed my education until obtaining a bachelor in chemistry. After that, I had the opportunity to achieve a kind of few months training within the Lebanese Commission of Atomic Energy where I tackle for the first time analytical techniques such as PIXE, RBS and NRA. The impact of this training was immediate since I was proposed to move to France in order to obtain a Master degree in analytical chemistry which was accomplished in the University of Lyon. During my master, I had to achieve a several months work related to surface sputtering aspect using a kind of home made SIMS instrument. After obtaining the master’s degree in Analytical chemistry I have received a scholarship from Lebanon to start a Ph.D. in the same lab, working thus in the surface characterization field.
I have obtained the Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Lyon in France after which I moved to Belgium where I have joined, first, the University of Louvain and, then, the University of Namur. My professional career was built somehow in Belgium through several years of working and learning various techniques in the surface characterization field. My last research project before joining KAUST was performed in the CRP of Luxembourg bringing another important aspect related to the SIMS instrumentation filed. My background was acquired and improved not only by the experimental work carried out in the laboratory but also through fruitful contact and collaboration with numerous academies and research centers from mainly Europe. The communication, either through conference contribution or paper publishing is another important aspect particularly addressed during my previous career.
I have joined the Imaging and Characterization Core Lab in KAUST after spending more than 13 years in academic and research centers in Europe.