About Depth Profiling & Surface Analysis

Surface-sensitive methods evaluate 1 to 10 molecular layers.  Some methods can be operated in a depth profiling mode by using energetic beams to remove material one molecular layer at a time.  As the molecular layers are removed, the newly revealed surface is analyzed.  If a sample has “macro layers” then cross-sectioning and polishing is an appropriate analytical approach.

  • Approaches

    Our scientists use the following capabilities to accomplish depth profiling surface analysis:

    •  X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)
    • Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS)
  • Sample Considerations

    Because surface analysis methods detect the outermost molecular layers it is important that samples be packaged in a way that materials are not added to, or removed from, the region of interest.  Our scientists will use specimen preparation methods including microtoming, sectioning, and polishing to obtain surface analysis and depth profile information for samples.

    The sample size for these methods are controlled by the sample itself with care always being taken to keep a margin of material beyond the specific zone to be tested.

    Our scientists can provide guidance to assure the analytical samples are properly packaged. 

    Contact us to discuss sample considerations in greater detail. 


  • Experience

    Products we've tested include:

    • Multi-layer films
    • Surface coatings to control static charge
    • Metalized plastic films
    • Medical products for contamination
    • Migration of additives to surface