Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Coatings Thickness Determination Using X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy: Monte Carlo Simulations as an Alternative to the Use of Standards

Version 1 : Received: 22 January 2019 / Approved: 24 January 2019 / Online: 24 January 2019 (08:09:27 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Giurlani, W.; Berretti, E.; Innocenti, M.; Lavacchi, A. Coating Thickness Determination Using X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy: Monte Carlo Simulations as an Alternative to the Use of Standards. Coatings 2019, 9, 79. Giurlani, W.; Berretti, E.; Innocenti, M.; Lavacchi, A. Coating Thickness Determination Using X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy: Monte Carlo Simulations as an Alternative to the Use of Standards. Coatings 2019, 9, 79.

Journal reference: Coatings 2019, 9, 79
DOI: 10.3390/coatings9020079

Abstract

X-ray fluorescence is largely employed in the measurement of the thickness of coatings. Despite of its diffusion, the task is not straightforward because of the complex physics involved that results in high dependence on matrix effects. Thickness quantification is in practice accomplished using the Fundamental Parameters approach, adjusted with empirical measurements of standards with known composition and thickness. This approach has two major drawbacks: i) there are no standards for any possible coating and coating architecture and ii) even relying on standards, the quantification of unknown samples requires the precise knowledge of the matrix nature (e.g., in case of multilayer coatings the thickness and the composition of each underlayer). In this work, we describe a semiquantitative approach to coatings thickness measurement based on the construction of calibration curves through simulated XRF spectra built with Monte Carlo simulations.  Simulations have been performed with the freeware software XMI-MSIM.  We have assessed the accuracy of the methods by comparing the results with those obtained by i) XRF thickness determination with standards and ii) FIB-SEM cross-sectioning. Then we evaluated which parameters are critical in this kind of indirect thickness measurements.

Subject Areas

XRF; X-ray fluorescence; thickness determination; thin film; simulation; XMI-MSIM; electrodeposition; Monte Carlo; galvanic industry; electroplating

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