Elemental surface profiling techniques such as Auger electron spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy, and ion scattering spectroscopy use about a 1- to 3-keV beam of ions to sputter away the surface as spectra are obtained. For a complete profile of even a thin film, many repetitive runs are necessary. In the standard commercial ion scattering spectrometer (ISS) (3M Company) the voltages to the plates of the spectrometer are increased during a scan by a motor-driven precision potentiometer. After each spectrum the potentiometer must manually be returned to zero or to the selected restart point. This procedure requires a great deal of operator attention and does not lend itself to signal averaging or digital data acquisition.
W. L. Baun, "Simple Programming of Ion Scattering Spectrometer for Elemental Profiling," Appl. Spectrosc. 29, 268-269 (1975)