Chemical Analysis

Engineer Uses Auger

The Swagelok Center for Surface Analysis of Materials at Case Western Reserve University has two surface analysis instruments for X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) (also known as electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA)) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). There are trade-offs and limitations to all equipment. The table below provides a high-level comparison of which surface analysis technique might be useful for your scientific problem. In addition to the two surface analysis instruments, SCSAM also has a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (pXRF) for non-destructive, quantitative chemical analysis of bulk solid and liquids at ambient pressure with no sample preparation requirements.

  • PHI VersaProbe 5000 X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)
  • PHI TRIFT V nanoTOF Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (TOF-SIMS)
  • Bruker Tracer 5g Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (pXRF)



Incident Source

Ions: Ga+, C60+ 

AlKa X-ray (1486.6 eV)

Signals Detected

Molecular ions

Atomic ions

Isotope ions 

Secondary electrons


Auger electrons

Secondary electrons

Elements Detected

Full periodic table

Boron to Uranium

Detection Limit

ppm to ppb range

0.1 atomic %

Probe Depth



Lateral Resolution

200nm - a few μm

10 μm 

Quantitative Analysis 



Sample Requirement

UHV compatible 

conductors to insulators

Maximum Dimensions

70 mm x 70 mm x 4 mm OR

15 mm x 15 mm x 4 mm

UHV compatible 

conductors to insulators

Maximum Dimensions

40 mm x 40 mm x 5 mm OR

10 mm x 10 mm x 7 mm

Main Uses

Excellent detection limit of elements & isotopes; Detection of atomic & molecular species (inorganic & organic); Imaging, Depth profiling 

Elemental composition; Chemical state analysis; Depth profiling