Awardee Interviews | Biography: Sven Tougaard

Sven Tougaard

Sven Tougaard
Dr. Sven Tougaard, University of Southern Denmark, “for the development of advanced methods to characterize thin-film nanostructures by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy”

Sven Tougaard received a MS from the Technical University at Copenhagen in 1975, and a PhD from Odense University, Denmark in 1979. In 1979-84 he was post. doc. at the University of Houston, at Odense University, and at Universität Osnabrück, Germany. Since 1984 he has been professor at University of Southern Denmark.

One of his main research interests has been the development of improved quantitative procedures for XPS and AES analysis. He developed new methods to correct AES and XPS spectra for the background of inelastically scattered electrons and proposed models to obtain quantitative information on the depth distribution of atoms in the 0-10 nm depth range from analyses of the inelastically scattered electrons. Recognizing the importance of accurate inelastic scattering cross sections to exploit the full potentials of his algorithms, he then started theoretical calculations of inelastic cross sections for a wide range of materials within a dielectric response description and he also developed a new experimental method, which is now widely used, to determine the inelastic cross section experimentally from analysis of reflected electron energy loss spectra (REELS). To make the formalism more suitable for practical quantitative XPS analysis he invented the Universal cross sections which are now widely used. Prof. Tougaard and his coworkers tested the validity of his method for nanostructure and thin-film analysis by performing a series of critical experiments that also involved comparisons with other quantitative techniques such as the quartz crystal microbalance, Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence, TEM, and atomic force microscopy. His methods are nondestructive and provide information that is in many cases hardly possible to get with other techniques. As the analysis is done with a single XPS spectrum, phenomena can be studied as they happen with a near real time resolution and examples of studies include chemical reactions, diffusion and thin film growth mechanisms. Lately he has developed new algorithms which are aimed at automated XPS analysis. With coworkers he has demonstrated that these algorithms can also be applied to make 3-D XPS images of surface nano-structures.

More recently, he has together with co-workers developed a new effective algorithm to extract the dielectric function of nanometer thin films from analysis of REELS. This quantity is hard to obtain with other methods and they have applied this to determine dielectric properties of the new gate-oxide films. He is also developing dielectric-response models to investigate the influence on the fundamental excitations in XPS and AES spectra caused by interactions with the core-hole and the surface.

In parallel with the development of the complex theoretical algorithms, he has made these generally available for the practical analyst by producing user friendly software packages which he distributes through the QUASES software company which he founded in 1994. They are used worldwide by researchers in academics and industry.

Prof. Tougaard has been Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena from 1990- 2012 and serves on the Editorial boards of the following journals: Surface and Interface Analysis (since 1989), Journal of Surface Analysis (since 1994), and Surface Science Spectra (since 1991). He is a member of Steering Committee for ECASIA. He has participated in and conducted several EU supported international projects and has a long-standing active scientific collaboration with several research institutes in Europe, USA, Korea and Japan.

He has published more than 200 journal papers, with more than 4800 citations, presented more than 50 invited talks at international conferences and workshops and served on the program committees and advisory boards for more than 20 international conferences and workshops.