Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) Laboratory

Head of the Laboratory: Dr. Pini Shekhter. Office: +972-3-640-7817. Email:

Scanning 5600 AES/XPS multi-technique system (PHI, USA) is a state-of-the-art analytical tool for chemical analysis of any solid material, ranging from Li to U. It can determine the chemical composition of surfaces not only by their atomic content but also by the chemical bonding of the surface atoms.

The main characteristic features of our AES/XPS system are summarized in the following table:

Technique Information

Detection Limits

Imaging, mapping Analysis area

Elemental composition,  Li-U

0.1-1 at% yes ≥100 nm

Elemental compositionand chemical bonding  Li-U

0.01-1 at% yes 30μm – 2 mm



Examples of Activity



AES/XPS measurements are used for characterization of different effects of processing, growth conditions, failure analysis, functional group analysis of chemically modified surfaces and interfaces.  Typical applications include the following spheres:

Investigation of nanostructures

  • Study of core-shell nano-systems.
  • Investigation of SAM (Self-Assembly Monolayer) structures grown on the transistor gate-dielectrics.
  • Analysis of chemical bonding in SAMs with various head and tail groups processed on a variety of substrates.
  • Study of functional interfaces of biomolecules and inorganic substrates.


  • Surface and interface characterization of technologically important junctions and multi-layers.
  • Thermal stability investigation of Schottky contacts to different substrates.
  • Analysis of insulators, thin films and bulk materials.
  • Characterization of low dielectric constant materials, like fluorinated diamond-like carbon (FDLC) and porous silica films.
  • Characterization of high dielectric constant materials.
  • Investigation the quality of the DLC processing: determination of the relative sp2-sp3 hybridization in DLC.
  • Compositional changes with depth study in HgxCd1-xTe.
  • Investigation of Cu metallization on Si.
  • Characterization of semiconductor core/shell nanocrystals, like InAs/ZnSe, InAs/GaAs, InAs/InP, etc...
  • Characterization of ceramics: compositional study, identification of inclusions, investigation of surface coatings.
  • Characterization of alloys: compositional analysis and investigation of transition from polycrystalline to amorphous and solid solution forms.
  • Failure analysis in semiconductor devices: photoresist residuals or carbonization after etching conducting lines, shortening or disruption, organic and non-organic contamination caused by processing, etc…


  • Checking the quality of condenser dielectrics (Ta2O5/Ta, BaTiZr/Ni-Al, etc…) after different treatments.
  • All kinds of failure analysis of electronic components. Typical examples: corrosion of transformer wires, capacitor dielectric constant degradation, MCP multipliers contamination.


  • Characterization of optical crystal damage caused by different processing (plasma etching, laser beam irradiation, etc…).
  • Investigation of coating quality on optical surfaces.
  • Analysis of optical fibers.

Polymer Science and Electrochemistry

  • Chemical bonding study of polymers with different synthesized complexes and after various treatments.
  • Diffusion barrier quality investigation on thin electroless deposited films.
  • Investigation of a verity of cathode materials for rechargeable lithium polymer electrolyte batteries.
  • Characterization of different structures as the anode material for Li-ion batteries.
  • Microphase structure characterization of the Solid Electrolyte Interphase (SEI)
  • Investigation of electrochemically synthesized nanoparticles.

Biological Science and Medicine

  • Investigation of biological sensors: thin protein layers grown on semiconductor substrate.
  • Characterization of insect biological tissues after different treatments.
  • Compositional analysis of dental accessories.
  • Analysis of Hydroxyapatite and its derivatives.
  • Characterization of a verity of materials, organic and non-organic, that are used in surgery or inserted into human body for prolong treatments.

Agricultural and Environmental Science

  • Compositional analysis of natural and synthesized minerals.
  • Comparison compositional analysis of soil samples from regions with different minerals.
  • Characterization of seaweed with metal intercalations.


  • Investigation of processing quality on metallurgically important materials: oxidation, soldering, sintering, nitriding, etc…
  • Study of the corrosion problems.
  • Measurements of lubricant composition and uniformity.
  • Thin film adhesion failure analysis.
  • Grain boundary segregation measurements.
  • Analysis of corrosion and wear of materials.
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