Surface characterization


Hollydays 2021


The laboratory for analysis XPS and Auger will be closed during the period.

Monday 26 July to Friday 13 August.


 Procedure to be used for the surface Analysis

 during the “problem COVID-19”


  1. Drop your samples and request form on the table front the MXC.213 laboratory
  2. Send to me an e-mail if you think the demand is not clear and to tell me what you want to analyse
  3. I do the analysis and return the data and report as usual (with a link on the server)

Thanks for your understanding



Find here the link for the request form XPS/Auger request-form_MHMC_word or request-form_MHMC_pdf

X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) measurements were carried out using a PHI VersaProbe II scanning XPS microprobe (Physical Instruments AG, Germany).

Analysis was performed using a monochromatic Al Kα X-ray source of 24.8 W power with a beam size of 100 µm. The spherical capacitor analyser was set at 45° take-off angle with respect to the sample surface. The pass energy was 46.95 eV yielding a full width at half maximum of 0.91 eV for the Ag 3d 5/2 peak. Curve fitting was performed using the PHI Multipak software.

Auger Electron Spectroscopy

The AES is an AUGER PHI 660 spectrometer.

Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) involves analyzing a surface with an electron beam. AES is a two-step process. First a high energy electron ejects an electron from the core orbital of an atom in the investigated material. To fill this vacancy, a less energetic electron from an outer shell drops into the core orbital and the energy released can result in the emission of another electron. This outer electron is referred to as the Auger electron and its kinetic energy is different for different elements, which allows to use AES to detect different elements and analyse surface composition. AES detects all elements except hydrogen and helium usually to a sensitivity better than 1 atom percent of a monolayer.  Since the probe electrons can be focussed to diameters <1μm high spatial resolution analysis (scanning Auger microprobe, SAM) can be performed.  An important limitation of AES comes from the fact that samples have to be conductor.