Skip to content

X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)

X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS Analysis) Testing Technique

XPS provides quantitative elemental, chemical state and functional group information from the surface of materials, detecting all elements except H and He in the concentration range from 100 at.% to ~0.1 at.%.

The sample is irradiated with monochromatic x-rays which stimulate emission of core level electrons from atoms within the surface.  The kinetic energy of these photoelectrons is measured in an electron spectrometer and used to identify the elements present by calculating the electron binding energy.

  • Identification of all elements present in the surface region (except H and He) in the depth range 1nm – 10nm
  • Quantitative elemental, chemical state, oxidation state and functional group information with elemental sensitivity in the range 100 at.% - 0.1 at.%
  • Measurement of surface layer thickness in the 1nm – 10nm range using Angle Dependent XPS
  • Chemical state mapping and defined area analysis
  • Quantitative depth profiling up to depths of several hundred nm.

Typical Applications

  • Characterization of stains and residues on metals and other substrates
  • Monitoring the success of cleaning procedures using the Surface Cleanliness Index
  • Characterising changes in polymer functionality following plasma treatments
  • Quantitative depth profiling of thin layer structures on glass.

Typical Industries using XPS

  • Healthcare
  • Medical Device
  • Printing
  • Packaging
  • Semiconductors
  • Electronics
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive.



XPS - At a Glance

  • Information: All elements (except H, He), chemical state, functional group
  • Detection limits: ~0.1 atomic %
  • Area Analysed: From ~700µm x 300µm to ~55µm x 55µm
  • Sampling Depth: ~1-10 nm
  • Imaging: Yes
  • Image Resolution: ~5µm
  • Data Output: Spectra, composition tables, depth profiles, images


» Testing & analysis techniques home