Reserach Support Services

Surface Science and Photoelectron Spectroscopy

The Surface Science Facility’s mission is to provide the expertise and resources to support the research and educational programs within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry relating to thin film design, growth and analysis.

The Laboratory for Electron Spectroscopy and Surface Analysis (LESSA) facility is administered by a Staff Scientist, Dr. Ken Nebesny, an Associate Staff Scientist, Mr. Paul Lee, and a student Research Associate chosen yearly from a competitive pool of graduate students. LESSA is closely aligned scientifically with the Keck Nano-Imaging and Clean Room facilities and the three units often provide complimentary support and expertise to the same research programs and projects in both the department and across campus.

Current capabilities in the facility include a Kratos Axis 165 Ultra X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer which is fitted with monochromatic (Al) and dual (Mg, Al) x-ray sources for X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), a high intensity ultra-violet source for Ultra-violet Photoelectron Spectroscopy (UPS), photoelectron imaging with spatial resolutions in the 1-2 um range, argon sputter ion cleaning and depth profiling, and in-situ sample heating and cooling. Recently the instrument underwent a significant upgrade with regards to the electron detector. An older multi-channeltron detection system was replaced with a state-of-the-art delay line detector (DLD) with a resulting order of magnitude increase in count rates. Lastly, the instrument also was configured for fast sample introduction and storage for normal analytical use. We have additionally modified the system to mate with custom designed and in-house constructed vacuum deposition chambers so that pristine samples can be prepared and studied in situ, away from deleterious atmospheric effects. The additions include a specialized transfer system to mate with the original spectrometer sample handler configuration, an isolatable pumping system to maintain spectrometer pressures in the low 10 -9 torr range, and an inert atmosphere glove box permanently mated with capabilities for clean, ex situ sample introduction, manipulation and large scale testing. One of the additional chambers also has Low Energy Electron Diffraction (LEED) capabilities for fundamental single crystal studies.

In addition to the main facility instrumentation, LESSA designs, constructs and maintains various deposition chambers that are used to support the thin film research platforms in the department. The lab also has expertise in electron optics design, photon and electron counting techniques, vacuum system design and construction, electron analyzer design, construction, and repair.

LESSA is active in the education of the department and university community in the fields of surface analysis and surface science through individual training on facility equipment, seminars and invited special topic course lectures, and workshops.