Consumer electronics, automobile electronics, domestic electrical appliances and many other electronic devices are an indispensable part of everybody’s daily life. The fast progress of electrical technology has been fostered by the spectacular advance in science and engineering of two major fields: Semiconductor technology and energy storage systems.
Semiconductors are the fundamental materials of essential electrical components like transistors, integrated circuits, semiconductor memories and diodes. The electrical properties of semiconductor materials can significantly be altered by controlled addition of impurities (“doping”). Thus, companies producing or further processing semiconductor materials need precise information on the concentration gradient and penetration depth of introduced elements and on the coating thicknesses of all comprised layers.
Among the storage systems, Lithium Ion Batteries (LIBs) are the most popular power sources for any kind of portable computing and telecommunication equipment because of their light weight, high energy density, small memory effect and only a slow loss of charge when not in use.
LIBs are composed of a positive and a negative electrode with a microporous polymer separator disposed between them, and an electrolyte. During the first cycles of charge/discharge, small amounts of organic electrolytes deposit on the surface of the electrodes, resulting in the formation of a so-called passivating layer, which is also referred to as solid electrolyte interface (SEI). Since the SEI affects the life time and power capability of LIBs, the understanding of its formation and growth is a worthwhile enterprise. So measuring the layer thickness and chemical composition of the SEI and the subjacent electrode materials is of fundamental importance.
The Glow Discharge Analyzer GDA 750 HR by Spectruma Analytik is capable of the simultaneous measurement of chemical compositions, concentration gradients and layer thicknesses. Barrier layers of only few nanometers can be analyzed with a relative depth resolution of 5-10 % of the detected depth. All elements of the periodic table including H, Li, Na, C, N, P and O can be analyzed. Having a detection limit ranging from 0.1 to 10 ppm, the GDA 750 HR is also sensitive to trace amounts.
Apart from its precise analytical performance, the GDA 750 HR offers many practical advantages. Analyses with the GDA 750 HR are very time-saving, since one measurement takes only several minutes and no laborious and time-consuming sample preparation is required. Samples can be directly analyzed as received from the production. Furthermore, the GDA 750 HR can be programmed to identify certain desired conditions (e.g. maximum/minimum concentration or layer thickness) automatically. So measurements can be conducted quickly and effortlessly even by untrained operators.
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