Instrument of the Month
June 2015
Novel Depth Profiling Technique Based on
Laser Ablation Mass Spectrometry

Laser ablation mass spectrometry was employed to quantify impurities incorporated in a copper matrix that was deposited by an additive-assisted electroplating process. This process is used in the semiconductor industry for the fabrication of interconnect architectures in logic and memory devices.
For the first time a sub-nanometre depth resolution was achieved by using this technique enabling the chemical analysis of grain boundaries in the interconnect material where the impurities are localized.

This work was carried out in the group of PD Dr. Peter Broekmann in collaboration with the group of Prof. Dr. Peter Wurz from the Space Research & Planetary Sciences division at the University of Bern.


  • V. Grimaudo, P. Moreno-García, A. Riedo, M. B. Neuland, M. Tulej, P. Broekmann, P. Wurz;
    "High-Resolution Chemical Depth Profiling of Solid Material Using a Miniature Laser Ablation/Ionization Mass Spectrometer"
    Anal. Chem., 87, Issue 4 Cover & 2037-2041, (2015); doi:10.1021/ac504403j.