X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS/ESCA) and Data Processing (3 days)


Note: This course can be taught in-house at your facility at any time. Email John Grant for details.


XPS is used to determine the atoms present at a surface and their concentrations, chemistry, and lateral and depth distributions. Depth profiling of thin films will also be included.

          Introduction – terminology, surfaces, types of surfaces.

          The principles of XPS – production of photoelectrons, peak labeling, electronic configuration of atoms, binding energies of atoms, molecules and solids, kinetic energy, spectra, Auger process, valence spectra, handbooks, books, surface sensitivity, inelastic mean free path and databases, information depth, hard X-rays (HAXPES), sample handling, spin-orbit splitting, chemical shift, curve fitting using software, plasmons, multiplet splitting, shake-up, data processing to measure intensities of p, d and f doublets.

          Instrumentation – dual anode, Bremsstrahlung, satellites and their removal using software, monochromatic source, electron energy analyzers, spectrum acquisition, energy resolution, scattering in analyzers, electron detectors, pulse counting, position sensitive detectors, small area analysis, area location, imaging XPS, methods for imaging, equipment and examples, software to improve information in images, energy scale calibration, vacuum system, samples.

          Qualitative analysis – identification of elements including examples using software, changing X-ray sources, charging and its effect on qualitative analysis, interpretation of chemical shift, relaxation effects, Auger parameter, making Auger parameter plots online, factors affecting peak widths, lineshapes, curve fitting with different lineshapes, advanced curve fitting using reference spectra.

          Quantitative analysis – sensitivity factors, ionization cross section, asymmetry parameter, magic angle, analyzer transmission, reference spectra, peak intensities, background subtraction with examples using software, measuring peak areas, using software for quantitative analysis, detection limits with examples, band offsets, studying curved surfaces.

          Artifacts – X-ray damage, charging and software approaches to improve quantitative analysis of data, methods for charge control, ghost peaks.

          Depth profiling – non-destructive and destructive methods, angle resolved XPS (ARXPS) with examples using software, diffraction, elastic scattering, thickogram, inelastic loss method with examples using software, effect of thin overlayers on quantitative analysis, sputtering, depth calibration, examples of data processing methods to remove peak overlap problems, separate different chemical states, and improve signal-to-noise in sputter depth profiles.

          Instrument selection and summary – factors to consider, general summary.


Some comments from previous students on the XPS course:

“The material is extremely valuable, the instructor is without peer, and the course can be made better only by making it longer.”

“No better course could be offered anywhere or anytime.”

“Dr. Grant stands alone in the world in his expertise and teaching ability, and reputation for this course.”

“The program I attended is excellent.”

“The cost to value ratio for this class is very attractive”

“I can recommend to my management that they send any and every ESCA user to this class without reservation.”
“Instructor addressed topics at all understanding levels! I would strongly encourage attendance”

“Dr. Grant is awesome! Wonderful lectures! He made the concepts very simple.”

“This is most likely the best class I have ever attended.”