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Grazing incidence X-Ray Fluorescence (GIXRF)

Brief description of the Method

Grazing Incidence X-Ray Fluorescence (GIXRF) analysis relies on the incident angle dependent penetration depth. GIXRF provides excellent conditions for the characterization of 3-dimensional elemental distributions on flat surfaces, the determination of elemental depth profiles as well as the distinct analysis of a buried layer or an interface. On flat samples, the X-ray Standing Wave (XSW) field is used as a tuneable depth sensor depending on either the incident angle or the incident photon energy.

The PTB applies the GIXRF technique to a wide range of samples and scientific problems by employing the reference-free XRF approach and the available instrumentation for sample sizes from a few centimeters up to 300 mm silicon wafers.


  • Reference-free, quantitative elemental depth profiling
  • Simultaneous analysis with GIXRF and X-ray reflectometry
  • Distinct analysis of interfacial layers possible
  • Complete modelling incl. XSW-simulation


  • Elemental depth profiling in the nanometer range
  • Surface and buried layer characterization
  • Analysis of Nanoparticles


  • Elements with Z ≥ 5 detectable, sensitivities comparable to TXRF
  • Sample sizes up to 300 mm Si-wafers
  • Chemical speciation possible in combination with NEXAFS

Research Highlights

  • Determination of the binding angle of self-assembled monolayers on germanium [1]
  • Characterization of ultra shallow and other ion implantations into various matrices [2,3]
  • Characterization of 3-dimensional elemental distributions on flat surfaces [4]
  • Distinct analysis of a buried layers and interfaces [5]
  • Buried layer characterization [6]
Fig. 1: Comparison of a GIXRF determined implantation profile for an As implant into silicon (3 keV, 1.0×1015 cm−2) in comparison to other methods


  1. Opens external link in new windowA comparison between self-assembled monolayers on gold, germanium employing grazing incidence X-ray absorption spectrometry GIXRF-NEXAFS, ECS Transactions (2009) 25, 433-439
  2. Opens external link in new windowDepth profile characterization of ultra shallow junction implants, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. (2010) 396(8), 2825-2832
  3. Opens external link in new windowCharacterization of ultra shallow aluminum implants in silicon by grazing incidence and grazing emission X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, J. Anal. At. Spectrom. (2012) 27, 1432-1438
  4. Opens external link in new windowReference-free quantification of particle-like surface contaminations by grazing incidence X-ray fluorescence analysis, J. Anal. At. Spectrom. (2012) 27, 248-255
  5. Opens external link in new windowSpeciation of deeply buried TiOx nanolayers with grazing-incidence x-ray fluorescence combined with a near-edge x-ray absorption fine-structure investigation, Phys. Rev. B (2008) 77, 235408
  6. Opens external link in new windowComplementary Characterization of Buried Nanolayers by Quantitative X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry under Conventional and Grazing Incidence Conditions, Anal. Chem. (2011) 83, 8623-8628