Determination of copper nanoparticle size distributions with total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy

Andy Singh, Katharina Luening, Sean Brennan, Takayuki Homma, Nobuhiro Kubo, Stanisław H. Nowak, Piero Pianetta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) analysis is extensively used by the semiconductor industry for measuring trace metal contamination on silicon surfaces. In addition to determining the quantity of impurities on a surface, TXRF can reveal information about the vertical distribution of contaminants by measuring the fluorescence signal as a function of the angle of incidence. In this study, two samples were intentionally contaminated with copper in non-deoxygenated and deoxygenated ultrapure water (UPW) resulting in impurity profiles that were either atomically dispersed in a thin film or particle-like, respectively. The concentration profile of the samples immersed into deoxygenated UPW was calculated using a theoretical concentration profile representative of particles, yielding a mean particle height of 16.1 nm. However, the resulting theoretical profile suggested that a distribution of particle heights exists on the surface. The fit of the angular distribution data was further refined by minimizing the residual error of a least-squares fit employing a model with a Gaussian distribution of particle heights about the mean height. The presence of a height distribution was also confirmed with atomic force microscopy measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-287
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Synchrotron Radiation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1


  • Cu nanoparticle
  • grazing-incidence X-ray fluorescence
  • silicon wafer surface
  • total reflection X-ray fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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