A practical and simple calibration procedure for determining the energy scale in Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) by using a newly developed idea of a spectrometer offset function is proposed here. This method enables transformation of the uncalibrated energy scale to be the calibrated and Fermi-level-referenced ones. The reliability of the calibrated energy scale can be estimated by the standard error of least-square fitting of the spectrometer offset function to the experimental values. A round-robin test involving the different kinds of twelve spectrometers has been conducted to clarify the effectiveness of this calibration method. Compared with the Fermi-level-referenced kinetic energies of Ni L3VV and M3VV, the scatter of these calibration-corrected peak positions is found to be very low, amounting to 20∼30% of the scatter of uncorrected values. It is also found that the spectrometers with the higher energy resolution tend to have the lower standard errors. These results clearly suggest that this procedure is very useful for the practical calibration of AES energy scale.
Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) is one of the common and useful methods used for the analysis of grain boundary segregation of solutes. We have applied this method by using a newly designed field emission electron gun for the small area analysis of grain boundaries in a high purity Fe-S alloy. It is found that sulfur segregates to grain boundaries and precipitates as Fe-sulfide, and that some of the precipitate particles consist of sulfide (FeS) and oxide. This result suggests that the oxide acts as the nucleus of FeS precipitation.