2010 Volume 26 Issue 2 Pages 177-186
This paper reviews work done of the influence of non-ideal surface topography on electron spectral intensities of surface-sensitive electron spectroscopic methods: primarily X-ray induced photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and concise Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), electron energy loss spectroscopy in the reflection mode (REELS), and elastic peak electron spectroscopy (EPES). Several attempts to solve the problem are mentioned, where (i) the effect of surface roughness is corrected using a single parameter, (ii) computer simulations based on a model of surface roughness composed of regular geometrical units are used for electron spectral intensity calculations, and finally, (iii) a semi-empirical method based on careful surface mapping of analyzed sample by atomic force microscopy (AFM) is discussed in greater detail. The first approach was found to be rather simple to properly include any complex surface topography. The second technique can help us to understand surface topography related phenomena. The latter method, suitable for arbitrary rough solid surfaces covered by conformal overlayer(s), can be incorporated in current quantitative procedures valid for ideally flat surfaces.