XPS – Surface Analysis

XPS – Surface Analysis

A vacuum system that combines surface analysis methods for characterization of thin solid films, polymer films, inorganic and organic powder materials.


ESCALAB 250Xi is an ultra-high vacuum (UHV) system that offers a combination of surface analysis tools for characterization of the elemental composition, chemical states of the constituent elements, and electronic structure of materials, with depth resolution below 10nm and lateral resolution down to ca. 1µm. The main characterization technique is x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) with capability of XPS imaging. The set of complementary techniques includes ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), ion scattering spectroscopy (ISS), and reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy (REELS). The system also features a Monoatomic and Gas Cluster Ion Source (MAGCIS)—the tool of choice for non-destructive surface cleaning of solid and soft (polymers, organics) materials.

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Electron Analyzer and Detection System
  • Double-focusing full 180° spherical sector analyzer with energy range 0 to 5 keV
  • Six channeltrons in parallel with a 2D detector with resolution up to 256×256 pixels
X-ray Sources
  • Monochromated AlKα X-ray. Spot size can be selected ranging from 200µm to 900µm
  • Non-Monochromated X-ray source has a Dual anode (MgKα/AlKα) X-ray source
UV Source
HeI and HeII modes of operation with UV light spot size (~1.5 mm) and photon flux >1.5×1012 s-1
The Flood Sources
Flood electron and low-energy ions sources
Ion Gun
  • MAGCIS – Monoatomic and Gas Cluster Ion Source
  • Operates in cluster (variable cluster size from 75 up to 2000 atoms) and monoatomic modes
  • Ar ion beam energy ranges from 200 eV to 4 keV (2keV to 8keV in cluster mode)

Ascent+ facility

Platform Technologies

  • Nano for Quantum Technologies
  • Disruptive Devices

Key Enabling Capability

  • Metrology/Characterisation: Physical characterisation

Case Study

A researcher produced a device that is terminated with a passivation layer of a few nm in thickness and oxynitride composition. XPS can be used to verify the oxynitride stoichiometry and compare it between devices.

For a researcher working with graphene-based devices, XPS and the complementary spectroscopic techniques can be used to characterize the chemistry of the active graphene layer after different functionalization protocols.

[DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2020.147699]
[DOI: 10.1039/D0CY00145G]

Additional information

Key Enabling Capability

Metrology / Characterisation

Platform Technology

Disruptive Devices, Nano for Quantum Technologies