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X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

A powerful method for investigating surface composition and electronic structure.

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is one of the principal methods of probing the composition and electronic structure of surfaces.

It has an increasing number of research applications in electronics, semiconductor physics, novel materials and biomaterials, surface chemistry and functionalisation, sensor surfaces, adhesion, abrasion and tribology, geological materials, astrobiology.

XPS can:

  • provide surface analysis of materials, coatings and residues both organic and inorganic
  • determine composition and chemical state information of surfaces
  • provide depth profiling of both organic and inorganic materials for thin film composition
  • thin film thickness measurements (such as native oxides, i.e. SiO2, Al2O3 etc)
  • provide characterisation of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs)
  • provide reliable measurements of small mass changes at a surface
  • provide direct measurement of mass as time progresses, with a resolution well below a single layer of atoms.

Key features

  • Identification of all elements above lithium on the periodic table
  • Quantitative elemental composition with a sensitivity down to 1 – 0.1 atomic %
  • Sensitive to the top 10nm of a surface
  • It can be applied to a wide range of materials, including insulating samples (paper, plastics, and glass), organics and inorganics.

Our services

Our surface analysis team specialise in XPS research. Our users have access to our world-class equipment, analysis techniques and our experienced staff.

Our team is experienced in interpreting XPS spectra, and can help you get the most out of your XPS data. They can assist with small interpretation or data reduction tasks, and can offer advice on methods and software to use.

If you have any questions during your research, you can contact our team.

Our techniques

Instruments and equipment

We have an advanced range of XPS instruments so we can address your needs quickly and efficiently.

Software support

We have analytical software for the analysis of XPS and related spectra for all our users. 

For XPS and ToF-SIMS data analysis we provide access to CasaXPS to Newcastle University users.

Helping you get the most out of your XPS data

Our team have experience in the interpretation of XPS spectra. This expertise is at the disposal of our users, for small interpretation or data reduction tasks, or guidance as to what methods and software to use.

This expertise will often be most valuable during acquisition of spectra.

If you have any questions at any point during your analysis or data processing, please do not hesitate to get in contact us. 

Our staff

  • Professor Lidija Siller, Professor of Nanoscale Science
  • Jake Sheriff, Scientific Officer

Contact us

To request a quote, or ask us a question, you can complete our analytical services general enquiry form below.

If you’re a Newcastle University staff member or student, you can visit the internal Research and Analytical Services' intranet page.