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X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), also called electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA), is a method used to determine the elemental composition of a material’s surface. It can be further applied to determine the chemical or electronic state of these elements.

The photoelectric effect is the ejection of electrons from the surface of a material upon exposure to electromagnetic radiation of sufficient energy. Electrons emitted have characteristic kinetic energies proportional to the energy of the radiation, according to [link] , where KE is the kinetic energy of the electron, h is Planck’s constant, ν is the frequency of the incident radiation, E b is the ionization, or binding, energy, and φ is the work function. The work function is a constant which is dependent upon the spectrometer.

In photoelectron spectroscopy, high energy radiation is used to expel core electrons from a sample. The kinetic energies of the resulting core electrons are measured. Using the equation with the kinetic energy and known frequency of radiation, the binding energy of the ejected electron may be determined. By Koopman’s theorem, which states that ionization energy is equivalent to the negative of the orbital energy, the energy of the orbital from which the electron originated is determined. These orbital energies are characteristic of the element and its state.

Basics of xps

Sample preparation

As a surface technique, samples are particularly susceptible to contamination. Furthermore, XPS samples must be prepared carefully, as any loose or volatile material could contaminate the instrument because of the ultra-high vacuum conditions. A common method of XPS sample preparation is embedding the solid sample into a graphite tape. Samples are usually placed on 1 x 1 cm or 3 x 3 cm sheets.

Experimental set-up

Monochromatic aluminum ( h ν = 1486.6 eV) or magnesium ( h ν = 1253.6 eV) K α X-rays are used to eject core electrons from the sample. The photoelectrons ejected from the material are detected and their energies measured. Ultra-high vacuum conditions are used in order to minimize gas collisions interfering with the electrons before they reach the detector.

Measurement specifications

XPS analyzes material between depths of 1 and 10 nm, which is equivalent to several atomic layers, and across a width of about 10 µm. Since XPS is a surface technique, the orientation of the material affects the spectrum collected.

Data collection

X-ray photoelectron (XP) spectra provide the relative frequencies of binding energies of electrons detected, measured in electron-volts (eV). Detectors have accuracies on the order of ±0.1 eV. The binding energies are used to identify the elements to which the peaks correspond. XPS data is given in a plot of intensity versus binding energy. Intensity may be measured in counts per unit time (such as counts per second, denoted c/s). Often, intensity is reported as arbitrary units (arb. units), since only relative intensities provide relevant information. Comparing the areas under the peaks gives relative percentages of the elements detected in the sample. Initially, a survey XP spectrum is obtained, which shows all of the detectable elements present in the sample. Elements with low detection or with abundances near the detection limit of the spectrometer may be missed with the survey scan. [link] shows a sample survey XP scan of fluorinated double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNTs).

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Nanomaterials and nanotechnology. OpenStax CNX. May 07, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10700/1.13
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