Tools for Surface Analysis

This information is provided through the cooperation of EMSL and the ASTM E42 committee.

This page provides information about terminology, analysis guides, recommended practices, reference data, reference materials and standards, and other tools that enable accurate analysis of surfaces.

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee E42 on Surface Analysis was established in 1976 to help improve and advance the quality of surface analysis. Through the development of terminology, conducting round robin (interlaboratory) comparison studies, and the development of recommended practices and standards, the E42 Committee has worked to advance the concepts and analysis approaches that have significantly improved the ability to obtain accurate reproducible and quantitative analysis of surfaces. Accurate surface analysis has become an important component of the User program at the EMSL laboratory at PNNL. EMSL and ASTM Committee E42 are teaming to collect information that can assist analysts in finding current best practice information and materials that enable state of the art analysis of surfaces. In many circumstances surface analysis methods are important for analysis of nanostructured materials and these methods are sometimes included in lists of nano-analysis tools.

Information important for surface analysis is gathered in 7 categories:

  • Vocabulary for surface analysis - Because of the importance of clear and unambiguous communications, ISO definitions and concepts related to surface chemical analysis are now freely available. Includes definitions of methods and important terminology for surface, scanned probe and related multivariate analysis.
  • Reference documents (see below) - that identify the status, needs and opportunities for improvement of surface analysis or surface analysis methods.
  • Guides to surface analysis methods (see below) - (XPS, AES, SIMS, etc.)
  • Data useful for surface analysis (see below) - (binding energies, sputter rates etc.)
  • Standards and recommended practices (see below) - for surface analysis (sample handling, spectrometer calibration, data reporting etc.)
  • Reference materials (see below) - that are useful for various aspects of Surface analysis (films to use as sputter rate standards, etc.)
  • Specialized software (see below) - for quantitative surface analysis

Note: This information from a variety of sources is provided as a service to the community. No endorsement or guarantee is made toward the items listed on this page.

Reference Documents that identify the status, needs and opportunities for improvement of surface analysis or surface analysis methods

Guides to Surface Analysis Methods (XPS, AES, SIMS, etc.)

UK Surface Analysis Forum Resources:

Data useful for surface analysis (binding energies, sputter rates etc.)

Standards and recommended practices for surface analysis (sample handling, spectrometer calibration, data reporting etc.)

ASTM Committee E42 Publishes a variety of Standards and Guides related to Auger Electron Spectorscopy, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Ion Beam Sputtering, Scanning Probe Microscopy and Vacuum Technology. A list of published standards on topics ranging from instrument calibration and charge control during XPS, to sample handling, can be found at the committee website.

The subcommittee structure of E42 outlines work areas of the committee:

  • E42.02 - Terminology
  • E42.03 - Auger Electron Spectroscopy and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy
  • E42.06 - SIMS
  • E42.08 - Ion Beam Sputtering
  • E42.13 - Vacuum Technology
  • E42.14 - STM/AFM
  • E42.15 - Electron Probe Microanalysis/Electron Microscopy

The International Standards Organization, Technical Committee 201 on Surface chemical Analysis prepares consensus standards related to specific techniques, surface chemical analysis vocabulary, sample handling, and ion sputtering. A summary of all of the published ISO TC201 standards can be found at the committee website and in summary publications.

The subcommittee structure of TC201 outlines the work areas of the committee:

Reference Materials that are useful for various aspects of Surface analysis (films to use as sputter rate standards, etc.)

Specialized software for quantitative surface analysis