Application Areas

2D & Nanomaterials

Materials with structure in the 1 - 100nm scale often have unique elctronic, optical and mechanical properties.


Adhesion is defined as the tendency of dissimilar particles or surfaces to stick to one another where as cohesion is the trendency of similar or identical particles/surfaces to cling to one another.  Surfaces can be critical to the process of both adhesion and cohesion and this is where XPS can be used to provide valuable chemical state information leading to better understanding of these processes.

Batteries & power storage

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is ideally suited to provide information relating to interfacial material properties that are critical to the performance of modern batteries.  It can give insights into chemical composition, elemental or chemical distribution of species, defect sites or functional groups.  Importantly, AXIS spectrometers allow studies of these materials to be extended to in-situ and in-operando characterisation of model devices.


Biomaterials are those which interact with the native-tissue, organ or function in a body and have recently attracted a lot of attention due to the potential applications in replacing major components and systems in a living organism.

Ionic Liquids

Recently ionic liquids have attracted the attention of a growing number of surface scientists interested in exploring the interactions at the both the liquid/gas and liquid/solid interfaces.


The surface properties of polymer materials are often vital in determining performance of the polymer for the specific application.  X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy is ideally suited to the surface characterisation of this class of materials.


Spectromicroscopy, also referred to as spectra from images, provides the ability to generate quantitative XPS data from a series of images with the unique advantage that spectra may be generated from areas as small as a single pixel. This type of sample analysis is only possible due to the combination of high lateral imaging and very good energy resolution with the pulse counting, two-dimensional delay-line detector (DLD).

Using high energy excitation sources

The use of high energy X-ray sources gives rise to the acronym hard X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, HAXPES.  By changing the anode material to silver, Ag Lα X-rays can be used to excite photoelectrons.  The photon energy of Ag Lα is 2984.3 eV, approximately twice that of Al Kα (1486.6 eV).  A significant advantage of this is the ability to use the same monochromator mirror for both photon energies, using second order diffraction of the same quartz crystals.  The higher photon energy of Ag Lα  allows the excitation of additional, higher binding energy core lines and the possibility of analysis deeper from the surface due to the increased escape depth of higer kinetic energy photoelectrons.