X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a surface-sensitive quantitative spectroscopic technique that measures the elemental composition, chemical and electornic state of the elements that exist within a material. Put more simply, XPS is a useful measurement technique because it not only shows what elements are within a film but also what other elements they are bonded to. This means if you have a metal oxide and you want to know if the metal is in a +1 or +2 state, using XPS will allow you to find that ratio. XPS spectra are obtained by irradiating a material with a beam of X-rays while simultaneously measuring the kinetic energy and number of electrons that escape from the top 0 to 10 nm, depending on the photon energy, of the material being analyzed. XPS requires high vacuum (P ~ 10−8 millibar) or ultra-high vaccum (UHV; P < 10−9 millibar) conditions, although a current area of development is ambient-pressure XPS, in which samples are analyzed at pressures of a few tens of millibar.

The Reinke group uses an Scienta Omicron XPS.