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principleLEIS principle

The sample is bombarded with noble gas ions of a few keV. The energy of a noble gas ion that is backscattered by a surface atom is determined by the laws of conservation of energy and momentum, for a given primary energy and scattering angle.

The energy spectrum of the scattered ions is equivalent to a mass spectrum of the surface atoms.

A LEIS analysis of a surface consisting of three different types of atoms results in a spectrum with three peaks. Such a spectrum can be produced within one minute.

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