||The surface of a solid interacts with its environment. It may be changed by the surrounding medium either unintentionally (for example by corrosion) or intentionally due to technological demands. Intentional changes are made in order to refine or protect surfaces, i.e., to generate new surface properties. Such surface changes can be made by ion implantation, deposition of thin films or epitaxially grown layers, among others. In all these cases, it is necessary to analyze the surface, the layer or system of layers, the grain boundaries, or other interfaces in order to control the process which finally meets the technological requirements for a purposefully changed surface. A wealth of analytical methods is available to the analyst, and the choice of the method appropriate for the solution of his problem requires a basic knowledge on the methods, techniques and procedures of surface and thin-film analysis.
Therefore, this book is to give the analyst - whether a newcomer wishing to acquaint themself with new methods or a materials analyst needing to inform themself on methods that are not available in their own laboratory - a clue about the principles, instrumentation, and applications of the methods, techniques, and procedures of surface and thin-film analysis. The first step into this direction was the chapter Surface and Thin Film Analysis of Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry (Vol. B6, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim 2002) in which practitioners give briefly outline the methods.
The present book is based on that chapter. It has essentially been extended by new sections dealing with electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), low-energy electron diffraction (LEED), elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA), nuclear reaction analysis (NRA), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), surface analysis by laser ablation (LA), and ion-beam spectrochemical analysis (IBSCA). Thus, the book now comprises the most important methods and should help the analyst to make decisions. Except for atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), microscopic methods, as essential as they are for the characterization of surfaces, are only briefly discussed when combined with a spectroscopic method. Methods of only limited importance for the solution of very special problems, or without availability of commercial equipment, are not considered or only briefly mentioned in the sections entitled Other Detecting Techniques without updating or giving examples of their applications.