Thomas Schulmeyer1 Michael Meyer2 Paul Dietrich2 Stephan Bahr2 Andreas Thissen2

1, SPECS-TII, Inc., Mansfield, Massachusetts, United States
2, SPECS Surface Nano Analysis GmbH, Berlin, , Germany

For many decades, XPS (or ESCA) was the well-accepted, standard method for non-destructive chemical analysis of solid surfaces. To fulfill this task, existing ESCA tools combine reliable quantitative chemical analysis with comfortable sample handling concepts, integrated into fully automated compact designs. Over the last several years it has been possible to develop XPS systems that can work far beyond the standard conditions of high or ultrahigh vacuum. Near Ambient Pressure (NAP) XPS has become a fast growing field in research, inspiring many scientists to transfer the method to completely new fields of application. Thus, by crossing the pressure gap, new insights in complicated materials systems have become possible using either synchrotron radiation or laboratory X-ray monochromators as excitation sources under NAP conditions. Based on this experience, SPECS Surface Nano Analysis GmbH has developed an EnviroESCA as a tool for reproducible chemical high throughput surface analysis under any environmental condition.

In this presentation the physical effect Environmental Charge Compensation is introduced. Together with the concept of measuring samples in residual gas pressure of up to 40mbar this allows for fast measurements on basically every solid, liquid or even gaseous sample, that can be conductive or insulating. Results will be presented from insulating polymers, ceramics and zeolites. The drying process of materials like water soaked superabsorbent polymers and hydrogels are analyzed regarding their differences in wet and dry state. Also measurements on water and aqueous solutions, for instance NaCl, Fe3SO4 and Ag nanoparticles in water are presented, to demonstrate, that a chemical surface analysis of liquids is possible. Finally XPS data from biological samples, like hair, artificial biofilms and biofilms with bacteria under different pressures are shown, demonstrating the differences between NAP and UHV analysis.