A cutting edge laboratory for photoelectron spectroscopy from ultra high vacuum to 10 mbar

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and ultra-violet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) are fundamental techniques in the analysis of the surfaces of materials providing key information on their elemental composition, surface chemistry and electronic properties.

The APSL is equipped with two state-of-the-art spectrometers, one providing high-throughput UHV XPS capability, and the other capable of providing measurement flexibility between near-ambient pressure and UHV conditions for both XPS and UPS measurements.

The systems

High-throughput X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer – Thermo Fisher K-Alpha+

A fully integrated, high-throughput, monochromated small-spot XPS system with depth profiling capabilities.

Analyser Type  180° double focussing hemispherical analyser-128-channel detector
Kinetic energy range (analyser)   100 - 4000 eV
X-ray source  Monochromated Al Ka Micro-focused
Depth Profiling  EX06 Ion Source
X-Ray Source Type  Monochromated, Micro-focused Al K-a
X-Ray Spot Size  30 - 400 µm in 5 µm steps
Optional Accessories holder Angle-resolved XPS Sample Holder, Work Function Sample Holder, Glove Box sample transfer
Sample Preparation Options None
Sampling Area 60x60 mm
Max. thickness sample 20 mm
Vacuum System 2x260 l/s turbo molecular pumps for entry and analysis chambers, Auto-firing, 3 filament TSP
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High-pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy – Scienta Omicron

A world-leading instrument consisting of both monochromated X-ray and UV sources and an hemispherical electron energy analyser capable of operating from UHV up to 25 mbar, dosing a variety of gases/gas mixtures.

Analyser Type 180° double focussing hemispherical analyser-128-channel detector
Kinetic energy range (analyser)  5 – 10,000 eV (transmission), 10-10,000 eV (angular)
X-Ray source Monochromated Al Ka (MX650) consisting of XM-780 X-ray monochromator and SAX-100 X-ray source
UV source VUV5000 photon source and VUV5047 UV-monochromator
Pass energy 5-500 eV
Sample preparation  Preparation chamber 1: Argon sputter, electron beam annealing (up to 1000 oC) and LEED optics
Preparation chamber 2 Argon sputter, electron beam annealing up to 1000 oC, RF oxygen plasma source, spare ports for additional deposition sources and a vacuum suitcase
Vacuum system 13 Edwards nXDS scroll pumps, 12 Pfeifer/Leybold turbo pumps, 3 CapaciTorr getter pumps 
Pressure Better then 2×10-10 mbar (UHV) up to 50 mbar (verified for N2
Gases  Air, N2, O2, H2, H2O, CO2, CO + more
Sample temperature -140 to 1000 ˚C (at pressure)
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For further information of the high-pressure XPS instrument and capability please see our recent publication:

Laboratory-based high pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy: A novel and flexible reaction cell approach
G. Kerherve et al. Review of Scientific Instruments, 88, 033102 (2017)

APSL help and support

  • Dr David Payne

    Dr  David Payne, Department of Materials, Imperial College London

    Personal details

    Dr David Payne Director

    +44 (0)20 7594 2585

    Support with

    General APSL and high-pressure XPS system enquiries


    Department of Materials
    Royal School of Mines
    Second Floor, 2.09