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X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Analysis

Category Press Release
Publish Date 8/18/2020
Author Paul Cochrane
Title X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy is a Powerful Technique Used by Industry to Analyze the Surface Chemistry of Materials
Introduction Advanced MicroAnalytical offers X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and other cutting edge testing services to support the material and surface engineering needs of clients in many industries.

Salem, NH, August 18th, 2020

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), also known as electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA), is an important tool used for surface science and determining the chemical analysis of a wide range of materials. XPS allows for an extensive variety of elements to not only be identified and quantified, but also for chemical state information regarding these elements to be determined.

XPS works by bombarding a vacuum stable sample with a concentrated beam of X-rays. This allows for the interaction of the X-ray beam and sample to liberate electrons from it. By correlating the energy of the liberated electrons with known binding energies, the spectrum of electron energies provides quantitative and oxidation state information about the elements on the sample’s surface. Because of the detailed oxidation state information, XPS allows for very detailed information about the relative chemical environment in a sample. Since the electrons liberated from the sample need to migrate to the detector, this chemical information is only obtained from a very small volume of material at the surface of the sample. This allows for analysis that is very surface specific, leading to nanometer (nm) scale interaction with the surface, with a thin film sample orientation profile of 2nm is easily achieved.

Due to the extreme surface sensitivity, small amounts of contaminants can interfere with the desired material, so the instrument is equipped with an ion sputter gun for surface cleaning. With the proper alignment, samples can also be successively sputtered to perform analysis at varying depth, creating a depth resolved profile of composition. Analysis of depth profile, surface film analysis, work-function measurements and surface mapping by composition are all possible with this robust technique.

XPS is also a preferred technique for thin film electronics. Examination of thin contaminants or surface poisoning is possible using the extreme sensitivity of the instrument. This allows for fine auto-oxidation layers or staining to be identified. Semi-conductors, organo-metallic polymers, composite materials, and all manner of metals and ceramic materials can be examined using XPS to both guide process and materials research, as well as determine root cause of material contamination or disruption.

The scientists and engineers at Advanced MicroAnalytical offer XPS, along with other highly sensitive material and surface testing techniques, in their state-of-the-art laboratory. To learn more about Advanced MicroAnalytical’s testing solutions for industry, please visit, call (877) 605-6662 or email

About Advanced MicroAnalytical

At Advanced MicroAnalytical we are dedicated to providing you and your business with critical insight and knowledge that is essential in the modern era. We provide the testing services and analytical tools for comprehensive understanding of your materials and projects. Our services range from advanced microanalysis of nanotechnology to compositional and functional analysis of large manufactured systems.  Our laboratory services span a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, micro-electronics, nanofabrication, aerospace and defense, environmental engineering – as well as many others. Advanced MicroAnalytical is committed to serving as a valued analytical partner to our clients. We offer unmatched analysis, testing, and services to assist you in your business, environmental, and research challenges. Visit our website at
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