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Muon implantation experiments in films: Obtaining depth-resolved information

Authors: Simoes, AFA; Alberto, HV; Vilao, RC; Gil, JM; Cunha, JMV ; Curado, MA; Salome, PMP; Prokscha, T; Suter, A; Salman, Z

Ref.: Rev. Sci. Instrum. 91(2), 023906 (2020)

Abstract: Implanted positive muons with low energies (in the range 1–30 keV) are extremely useful local probes in the study of thin films and multi-layer structures. The average muon stopping depth, typically in the order of tens of nanometers, is a function of the muon implantation energy and of the density of the material, but the stopping range extends over a broad region, which is also in the order of tens of nanometers. Therefore, an adequate simulation procedure is required in order to extract the depth dependence of the experimental parameters. Here, we present a method to extract depth-resolved information from the implantation energy dependence of the experimental parameters in a low-energy muon spin spectroscopy experiment. The method and corresponding results are exemplified for a semiconductor film, Cu(In,Ga)Se2, covered with a thin layer of Al2O3, but can be applied to any heterostructure studied with low-energy muons. It is shown that if an effect is present in the experimental data, this method is an important tool to identify its location and depth extent.

DOI: 10.1063/1.5126529