Resolving Peak Overlaps in Semiconductor Tantalum Silicide

Tantalum silicide is used for oxidation or temperature-resistant coatings, in microelectronics and optics. Tantalum silicide may also occur as refractory phase in semiconductor materials such as Si wafers.

In order to achieve a high spatial resolution during quality control, the analyses have to be carried out at low accelerating voltages, complicating the identification of minor phases. At low accelerating voltages, only the Ta M series energy lines are generated which severely overlap with the substrate Si Kα line. 

The resulting EDS peaks of the primary elements are slightly broadened and masking the presence of the second element. By comparison, elements such as Ta are identified with confidence using QUANTAX WDS due to its superior peak resolution.

X-ray spectrum section for tantalum silicide in the energy region of 1.6 - 1.9 keV showing the high spectral resolution of WDS in comparison to EDS