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2007 Martin

Antonio Martin was awarded with the Payling prize in 2007, during the 12th European Conference on applications of surface and interface analysis celebrated in Brussels. He presented there a work titled  "Improvement of depth resolution for the analysis of thin layered materials using microsecond pulsed glow discharge time-of-flight mass spectrometry" which corresponded to one of the research topics carried out for his PhD.

In January 2011, Antonio Martin also received the prize for the best thesis 2008-2010 awarded by the Physics department of the University of Oviedo, Spain.

A continuous GD source, either in the dc or rf mode, produces a steady beam of sample ions with small energies, and therefore the use of the GD coupled to a mass spectrometer makes this technique highly versatile and cost-effective in comparison to other direct solid sampling mass spectrometric approaches. Another source is the pulsed GD, which offers some advantages like enhanced sputter atom yield, enhanced excitation / ionization, and a minimum thermal effect on the sample. This last property is extremely important in order to study fragile samples or very thin layers where the risk of damage is high if the continuous dc or rf mode are employed.

The time-of-flight mass spectrometer TOF(MS) is particularly suited for a pulsed source, due to the time-dependent nature of the ion signal and the use of temporal gating techniques. The pulsed mode allows temporal decoupling of the two types of discharge species, gaseous components and sputtered cathode material. This phenomenon affords time-resolved analyses is not possible using dc mode. Moreover, due to the fact that the sputtering process can be controlled by changing the duty cycle of the pulsed signal, the pulsed GD-TOF(MS) allows to increase the in-depth resolution extending the pulsed technique to depth profiling in a more flexible way. Very thin layers can be removed off employing a lower duty cycle and expanding the time scale.

In the present work, the coupling of a home-made GD chamber to a TOF(MS), being the GD powered with a microsecond pulsed source, has been optimised (e.g. effect of pulse frequency and pulse width combinations in order to study the duty cycle influence) and evaluated for the in-depth profile analysis of several layered materials, as silicon based multilayers (Cr-Ni-Cu), gold deposited on galvaneal  and a tinplate. Additionally, the tinplate was suited for a quantitative depth profile analysis. The quantification method is similar to those employed on GD-OES, and the quantitative profile obtained with the pulsed technique is compared to the one carried out by using rf-GD-OES.


Frequency=450 Hz, Pulse width=50 µs



  1. A. Martín, JC. Álvarez, C.Blanco, J.Viera, N.Bordel; “Propiedades físicas básicas de una lámpara de Na de alta presión a diversos voltajes y frecuencias”;  Óptica Pura y Aplicada; 37  (2004) 103-110
  2. Beatriz Fernández, Antonio Martín, Nerea Bordel, Rosario Pereiro, Alfredo Sanz-Medel; “In - Depth Profile Analysis of Thin Films Deposited on Non - Conducting Glasses by Radiofrequency Glow Discharge-Optical Emission Spectrometry”; Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry; 384,4 (2006);876- 886
  3. Beatriz Fernández, Antonio Martín, Nerea Bordel, Rosario Pereiro, Alfredo Sanz-Medel; “Application of radio-frequency glow discharge -optical emission spectrometry for direct analysis of main components of glass samples”; Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry21,12; 1412-1418; 2006
  4. A. Martín, A. Menéndez, R. Pereiro, N. Bordel, A. Sanz-Medel; “Modifying argon glow discharges by hydrogen addition: effects on analytical characteristics of optical emission and mass spectrometry detection modes”; Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry388,8; 1573-1582; 2007
  5. Auristela Solà Vázquez, Antonio Martín, José M. Costa-Fernandez, Jorge Ruiz Encinar, Nerea Bordel, Rosario Pereiro and Alfredo Sanz-Medel; “Quantification of bromine in flame-retardant coatings by radiofrequency glow discharge–optical emission spectrometry"; Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry389,3; 683-690; 2007
  6. A. Martín , R. Pereiro, N. Bordel, A. Sanz-Medel; “Microsecond pulsed versus direct current glow discharge as ion sources for analytical glow discharge time of flight mass spectrometry”; Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry22; 1179-1183; 2007
  7. Juan C. Álvarez Antón, Cecilio Blanco, Francisco J. Ferrero, Juan Carlos Viera, Nerea Bordel, Antonio Martín, Georges Zissis; “An Acoustic Resonance Band Detection Workbench for HID Lamps”; IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS43,5; 1191-1198; 2007
  8. A. Martín , A. Martínez,  R. Pereiro, N. Bordel, A. Sanz-Medel.; “An approach to calculate sputtering rates in glow discharges by using a new crater volume evaluation method”; Spectrochimica Acta Part B; 62,11; 1263-1268; 2007
  9. A. Martín ,  R. Pereiro, N. Bordel, A. Sanz-Medel; “Hydrogen effects on copper, zinc and nickel atomic emission lines in argon radiofrequency glow discharge optical emission spectrometry”; Spectrochimica Acta Part B63,6; 692-699; 2008
  10. Authors: A. Martín ,  N. Bordel , R. Pereiro, , A. Bogaerts; “Monte Carlo analysis of the electron thermalization process in the afterglow of a microsecond dc pulsed glow discharge”; Spectrochimica Acta Part B; 63,6; 692-699; 2008
  11. Auristela Solà Vázquez, A. Martín, J.M. Costa, R. Pereiro, A. Sanz-Medel; “A tuneable pulsed glow discharge time-of-flight mass spectrometer for the simultaneous acquisition of elemental and molecular chemical information”; Analytical Chemistry; 81,7; 2591- 2599; 2009
  12.  Antonio Martín, Nerea Bordel, Cecilio Blanco, Juan C. Álvarez, Georges Zissis; “Comparison of the emission of a high pressure Na lamp working at 50 Hz and at high frequency”; IAS Transactions in press, 2010