In the industry, Vapor Phase Decomposition Inductively Coupled Mass Spectroscopy is abbreviated to VPD-ICPMS. If you’ve been wanting to learn a little more about it, Cerium Labs is happy to help! Not only can we tell you all about Vapor Phase Decomposition Inductively Coupled Mass Spectroscopy but we can also perform the service for companies who need it professionally done as well. Before we get more into exactly what we can do for you, let’s go over the details of Vapor Phase Decomposition Inductively Coupled Mass Spectroscopy more specifically. 

It all starts with the vapor phase decomposition sample preparation technique. During this process, trace elements on the surface of a silicon wafer are collected into a liquid sample to be analyzed by HR-ICP-MS. The silicon wafer, which can be 150, 200, or 300 mm, is exposed to hydrofluoric acid vapor in a sealed chilling chamber. The hydrofluoric acid vapor forms a condensate on the chilled wafer surface. This condensate etches the oxide layer off of the wafer surface along with any trace metals that are present. These trace metals are exactly what we’re looking for, because they hold the answers to the questions you are asking.

After this step, the condensate is then collected by rolling a drop of scan solution across the surface of the wafer. The scan solution is almost always a dilute mixture of hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid, and hydrofluoric acid. It’s just a tiny drop, so don’t worry! The drop is transferred from the wafer surface into a clean sample vial. 

Lastly, the liquid sample is then analyzed for trace metals using HR-ICP-MS. The VPD technique is capable of measuring metallic contaminants at concentrations ranging from 1E6 to 1E14 atoms/cm2. It is particularly useful in measuring light elements on bare silicon or in hydrofluoric acid soluble thin films. The most popular light elements that can be measured this way include lithium, beryllium, boron, sodium, magnesium, and aluminum.

Even if you wanted to, this isn’t something you can do on your own. If nothing else, you probably don’t have a gemetec automated VPD prep tool needed to perform the procedure! That’s okay, because Cerium Labs has the instruments, knowledge, and industry experts to do this job the right way. You can trust our processes, which means you can trust our results too. 

We offer an extensive array of material analysis techniques including surface science, trace metal testing, electron imaging, mass spectroscopy, as well as chemical analysis. Our team solves problems for some of the world’s leading companies, including semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, alternative energy manufacturers, and many more. Do you think we can help you? We do too! Reach out to us today to learn more about what our scientists can do for you! Call us at (866) 770-7752 or email to get started.