X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

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X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a surface-sensitive quantitative spectroscopic technique that measures the elemental composition at the parts per thousand range providing empirical formula, chemical state and electronic state of the elements within a material.

XPS spectra are obtained by irradiating a material with a beam of X-rays while simultaneously measuring the kinetic energy and number of electrons that escape from the top 0 to 10 nm of the material being analysed.

XPS requires high vacuum (P ~ 10−8 millibar) or ultra-high vacuum (UHV; P < 10−9 millibar) conditions, although a current area of development is ambient-pressure XPS, in which samples are analysed at pressures of a few tens of millibar, near ambient.

ICAM equipment includes:

  • Kratos Axis Ultra Hybrid at The University of Manchester. Capable of single point spectroscopy, imaging and spectromicroscopy, where a series of images, incremented in energy, are collected so that each pixel in the image contains a spectrum. This allows quantification of images by measuring photoelectron peak areas.