National Physical Laboratory

Vocabulary of Definitions for ~900 Terms for Surface Chemical Analysis - ISO

The surface chemical analysis vocabulary provides the definitions for some 900 surface chemical analysis terms in the two ISO International Standards:

  1. ISO 18115-1:2013(E) - Surface chemical analysis - Vocabulary - Part 1, General terms and terms used in spectroscopy
  2. ISO 18115-2:2013(E) - Surface chemical analysis - Vocabulary - Part 2, Terms used in scanning-probe microscopy

These documents, available from ISO (International Standards Organization in Geneva) or your National Standards Body, cover the terms used in surface analysis spectroscopies, such as: Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and many similar methods; as well as in the scanned probe microscopies (SPM), such as: atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM), scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and many similar methods.

Because it is important for analysts, researchers and students to communicate clearly and unambiguously, these definitions are now freely available from ISO using the links to ISO 18115-1* and ISO 18115-2* as PDFs at the ISO portal. The Vocabularies are structured and it is easiest to find particular terms, or groups of terms, using the indexes in which the term number is given. These indexes are available separately as PDF documents through the links provided below:

Index to ISO 18115-1

Index to ISO 18115-2

The definitions are also available on the Online Browsing Platform at ISO 18115-1* and ISO 18115-2*. These links take you to a specific part of the ISO Online Browsing Platform - please wait for about a minute while they load. The general ISO Online Browsing Platform is useful for searching for terms not included in the above standards, but that may have been defined in other relevant standards covering the wider spheres of chemistry, optics, etc. It provides all definitions for any given term in ISO standards (click 'Terms & Definitions' button) from the different fields, so that they may be compared.

To help users of scanned probes, we also provide a family tree of the SPM acronyms, and annotated figures of the design of complex probes and of the probe assembly Adobe Acrobat PDF file

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Permission has been granted by ISO for public access to ISO 18115-1 and ISO 18115-2 for educational and implementation purposes through eight approved websites at the National Physical Laboratory (UK), the American Vacuum Society (USA), the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (USA), the Surface Analysis Society of Japan (Japan), the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Japan), the Bundesanstalt fur Materialforshung und –prufung (Germany), the National Metrology Institute of Germany (Germany) and the Spanish Vacuum Society (Spain).

Revision history of ISO 18115 - Surface chemical analysis - Vocabulary

The initial vocabulary, ISO 18115:2001, contained 350 terms for Surface Chemical Analysis, covering AES, XPS, SIMS, sputtering, depth profiling and associated areas. In the first amendment, ISO 18115:2001Amd 1 in 2006, five abbreviations and 71 terms were added, many covering concepts in glow discharge analysis. The second amendment, ISO 18115:2001Amd 2 in 2007, contained a further 87 terms for secondary ion mass spectrometry, elastic peak electron spectroscopy and reflected electron energy loss spectroscopy, 76 acronyms for scanned probes, 33 definitions of scanned probe techniques, six terms for contact mechanics and 147 terms for concepts in scanned probe analysis. Additionally, term 5.24, attenuation length, in ISO 18115:2001, had an added sentence clarifying NOTE 2, and term 5.25, effective attenuation length, is revised to make it more general. To accommodate further new terms and a few clarifications, in 2010, this standard was revised into the two new ISO documents; Parts 1 and 2, where Part 1 contains entries relevant to the spectroscopies, and Part 2 to the scanned probes. Amendments to these new documents, containing over 100 further terms, were approved in 2013.

Last Updated: 26 May 2017
Created: 28 Mar 2013


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