Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) is a surface-sensitive analytical technique for characterizing the chemical composition of a material.
Auger spectrometers utilize a high-energy electron beam as an excitation source and scan this beam over the sample in a raster pattern. Where the beam interacts with the sample surface, it scatters characteristic electrons from the valence and internal orbitals of the surface atoms (within 2-10 nm information volume). Because the technique utilizes a focused electron beam spot, it is ideal for high resolution chemical mapping of small areas.
The Auger electrons produced from the sample are drawn using electron optics to a detector that measures their kinetic energies. The measured kinetic energy of each incoming electron is directly correlated to the unique energy of its parent orbital, and therefore to a specific elemental species. By measuring the intensity of Auger signal at each electron energy, one can make quantitative measurement of surface chemical composition.
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