Ion Beam Laboratory

Sandia's Ion Beam Analysis (IBA) program is recognized as one of the best in the world. It has the ability to examine a wide spectrum of materials, from semiconductors to metals and ceramics. Some of the accomplishments of the program include:

  • Invented several new ion beam analysis techniques for the quantitative analysis of light elements (H through F), and heavy elements (C through Pu).
  • Enhanced nuclear microprobe-based Single Event Upset (SEU) imaging system to supply submicron images of charge generation and collection in CMOS ICs. This new application of SEU-imaging is important for understanding and decreasing upset susceptibility.

Capabilities and Resources

The IBA is available to perform the following quantitative/standardless analyses:

  • Compositional and depth profiling of materials using Rutherford back scattering spectrometry (RBS).
  • Elastic recoil detection using a high energy, heavy ion beam (for example, 28 MeV Si) to recoil or knock light elements from a target. This enables the profiling of very light elements such as H.
  • Ion channeling to probe the atomic structure of a material in the near surface, allowing the depth profiling of defects and strain.
  • External ion beam analysis on a variety of materials that cannot be placed in a vacuum system.
  • Quantitative elemental analysis using particle-induced x-ray emission with detection sensitivities of µg/g.
  • 3-dimensional elemental distribution maps.

The IBA places the following equipment at the service of its industry partners:

  • 6 MV tandem Van de Graaff accelerator for analyses requiring high energies (for example, light element profiling and high energy back scattering), and radiation effects R&D.
  • RFQ booster for gold ions at 380 MeV for radiation effects R&D.
  • 3 MV Pelletron accelerator for more routine IBA techniques such as RBS and channeling.
  • 0.4 MeV Ion Implanter for implantation and fusion neutron production.
  • 0.1 MeV NanoImplanter for highly controlled and localized (10nm) implants.