Ion Beam Analysis

Ion Beam Analysis is an enabling technology for thin film scientists and engineers. It is a powerful group of analytical techniques (known as "Total-IBA") for determining the elemental composition of thin films. We can get accurate (and traceable) analyses, with good spacial resolution both laterally and in depth, and the Surrey IBC is an acknowledged world leader in this field.  We were the first (with colleagues from Lisbon and Budapest) to demonstrate RBS at 1% traceable accuracy  (Analytical Chemistry 84, 2012, 6061-6069 ),  and our demonstration that RBS is a primary direct reference method (see Colaux et al, Analyst 140,  2015, 3251-3261) is the technical basis of our ISO17025 accreditation.

Surrey workers (Jeynes, Webb & Lohstroh) have completed a major Review of IBA  (Reviews of Accelerator Science & Technology 4, 2011, 41−82 ).

IBA techniques have recently become much more powerful : Total IBA,  the self-consistent analysis of photon emission (PIXE) spectra together with particle scattering (RBS, EBS, ERD, NRA) spectra,  has now become available (Nuclear Instruments & Methods B, 271, 2012, 107–118). These new methods, which we have been instrumental in developing, fully exploit the complementary information available from the photon and particle methods: with the depth resolution and traceability of RBS and the mass resolution and sensitivity of PIXE. And all this at the lateral resolution given by our microbeam, and soon also our nanobeam.

We have analysed a very wide range of materials, from various electronics samples through timbers from the Cutty Sark and paint on a suspected Leonardo da Vinci painting to the metal content of proteins. If you have a trace element problem, or you want to know what your thin film really is, then come to us!

Further information is available below: 

We also collaborate strongly with Dr. Melanie Bailey on various Forensics applications:  she has made a short film "Ion Beam Cop" for the IoP on the characterisation of gunshot residue (see also X-ray Spectrometry 38, 2009, 190-194,  and Nucl. Instrum. Methods B, 267, 2009, 2265-2268)

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