Surface Science Facility

Facility Director: Yip-Wah Chung, MSE

The Surface Science Facility provides multiple-technique characterization of a variety of surfaces with regard to atomic structure, surface chemical composition, and chemical bonding characteristics.


1. PHI 590A Scanning Auger Microprobe: This scanning Auger microprobe is capable of standard Auger analysis with 200 nm lateral resolution and provides composition information in the top few atomic layers with about 1% monolayer sensitivity. It is equipped with in situ fracture and argon ion sputter for depth profiling. A fast entry system allows rapid specimen turnaround.

2. VG ESCA/SIMS system: This is a fully computer-controlled instrument from Vacuum Generators that combines two analytical instruments into a single workstation, viz., x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). The XPS subsystem can be run with a normal Al/Mg anode or a monochromatized Al anode for higher energy resolution. A small spot mode allows analysis down to 150 microns. The SIMS subsystem works with a quadrupole mass spectrometer with unit mass resolution up to m/e = 800 and single ion detection capability. A fast entry system permits rapid sample introduction and interchange. A high-pressure cell is also incorporated for simulation of processes occurring at pressures up to 30 atmospheres.

3. Nanoindentors: Two nanoindentation instruments ( Hysitron and UMIS) are available to determine surface mechanical properties and tribological behavior. An additional nanoindentor is being installed that allows nanoindentation and friction measurements at up to 500 C.

Training Seminars/Workshops

Provisions have been made to accommodate routine short-term measurements by user groups as well as more extended studies. User and research groups are encouraged to work with the facility staff to tailor the facility resources to the research project.