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This article provides a detailed account of the basic concepts of Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS). It begins with a description of the principles of RBS, as well as the effect of channeling in conjunction with backscattering measurements and the effect of energy loss under this condition. This is followed by a section on equipment used in RBS analysis. Channel-energy conversion, energy-depth conversion, and separation of the dechanneling background are then discussed as the main steps of RBS data analysis. The article also discusses the applications of RBS—including composition of bulk samples, thin-film composition and layer thickness, impurity profiles, damage depth profile, and surface peak—as well as the various codes developed to simulate it.

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