Surface Analysis by Electron Spectroscopy (ESCA)

About us

The ESCA platform, open to academic laboratories and companies, performs elemental and functional chemical analysis of the extreme surface (≤10nm-depth) of all types of solid materials. This platform includes ultrahigh vacuum equipment allowing the structuration of surfaces and their in situ analyses by electron spectroscopy enabling the identification of all elements (except H and He) and the nature of their bonds, their local environment and/or their degree of oxidation, the highlight of superficial segregations and the determination of atomic concentrations.

Our services

The fields of application are almost unlimited and surface analysis by electron spectroscopy can be applied to most solid materials. This technique enables:
  • to identify all the elements (except H and He),
  • to determine the nature of the bonds, the local environment and / or the degree of oxidation of most elements,
  • to highlight superficial segregations (angular analysis and / or ionic etching),
  • to calculate atomic concentrations (limit of detection 0.5%).
The analysis techniques available in the ultrahigh vacuum facility are:
  • XPS spectroscopy (survey spectrum + high definition spectra)
  • AR-XPS (angular resolved XPS for depth profile)
  • Auger spectroscopy
  • UPS spectroscopy
  • Auger imaging
  • Low electron energy diffraction (LEED)
Possibility of "in situ" treatments:
  • Ar+ ionic etching (sample profiling)
  • Heat treatment (up to 900 ° C)


The three parts of the facility, which are interconnected under Ultra High Vacuum (UHV), are:
  • an load-lock and storage chamber;
  • a preparation chamber equipped with an ion gun (Ar+ ion etching), several deposition sources, two plasma sources, a heated sample holder (up to 900 °C) for in situ treatments under UHV or controlled atmosphere;
  • an analysis chamber gathering an OMICRON EA125 hemispherical electron analyzer, an X-ray source (dual anode Mg E=1253.6eV and Al E=1486.6 eV), a conventional electron gun, a scanning electron gun (micrometric scale), a UV source, a low energy electron diffractometer (LEED).
Note also the presence of a transport module that fits on the load-lock chamber and allows the transfer of sensitive samples, prepared in a glove box, into the UHV facility without contact with the ambient atmosphere.


Electron spectroscopy training: qualitative interpretation of spectra, modelling and calculations of atomic concentrations.