Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

XPS Explained

XPS Explained

XPS stands for X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, a powerful method for investing surface composition and electronic structure.

XPS Explained

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.

Text description of the pie chart on this page

Percentage breakdown of NEXUS work by material:

  • Semiconductor - 28%
  • Carbon based nano materials - 16%
  • Medical/biological - 14%
  • Nano particles/fibres - 9%
  • Polymer - 8%
  • Thin film - 7%
  • Catalyst - 5%
  • Geology - 6%
  • Metal - 4%
  • Adhesion - 3%
  • Energy - 2%
  • Others - 2% 
XPS Surface Analysis Pie Chart

Key attributes include:

  • 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
  • applicable to a wide range of materials, including insulating samples (paper, plastics, and glass), organics and inorganics