Replacing an elderly XPS-system

Our client

St Andrews brings together researchers from around the globe to explore and challenge the world. From local to international topics, research spans from ancient history to modern scientific breakthroughs.

The challenge

The Chemistry Department of St Andrews needed to replace the X-Ray source on an elderly XPS system. The unique rotating anode source on the system was no longer fully supported due to its age and had broken down. In addition, its power consumption was very high. However, the existing analyser and the rest of the system were functioning well.

Our solution

In addition to our vacuum components and in-house manufacturing capabilities, Scanwel is a local distributor in the UK and Ireland for SPECS Surface Nano Analysis Gmbh.

Prof Chris Baddeley and his senior scientific officer Dr Steve Francis of St Andrews Chemistry Department approached Scanwel to assess the feasibility of the upgrade. The university invited applications for funding to reduce their energy costs. The group saw an opportunity to resurrect the system and were successful in obtaining the funding.

Scanwel proposed a solution using the SPECS Focus 600 monochromated X-Ray source that would fit the system. In Summer 2020, once the pandemic situation allowed, Scanwel was able to install the source and measure the first Spectra.

It is also providing excellent data for investigations into ceria-based catalysts and work looking at the passivation and etching of noble metals to mention just two”.

Download full case study

The new source consumes a fraction of the power and has an excellent energy resolution. While we would never expect it to have the same count rate as the high-power rotating anode source, it is proving to be considerably easier to use and maintain and is much more reliable.

Dr Steve Francis - University of St Andrews

Products message

For more information, e mail

View products

Need to know more?

Contact our sales team today on 01678 530281 or alternatively

Make an enquiry

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest updates on new products, developments, events and more.