"This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5)."
This proposed MRI-R2 application is for the acquisition of a state-of-the-art x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) surface analysis instrumentation system for the Greater Philadelphia region. The XPS system will be established as an openly accessible multi-user shared instrumentation facility at Drexel University that serves as a focal point for significantly enabling research and training activities in the scientific community in the region. Currently, there is no shared XPS facility widely accessible by different users in Greater Philadelphia. Equally important, there are a significant and diverse range of research programs In the area that have a critical need for an XPS system but have limited access to one. As such, the proposed instrumentation will address a key void in enabling leading edge research. At Drexel University, major research initiatives, including the Drexel Plasma Institute and the Drexel Nanotechnology Institute, as well as many individual faculty research projects will be enabled by the XPS system. In addition, numerous research efforts at the University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University and Rowan University will be considerably aided by easy access to such an system. Specifically, this proposal highlights emerging research activities that will be positively impacted by the XPS instrumentation, including major efforts in sustainable energy, biomedical technology, nanotechnology and advanced materials currently funded by the NSF and other agencies. These research activities require a multicapability XPS system that is able to perform quantitative surface-specific chemical analysis of all types of samples like metals, inorganics, organics, ceramics, polymers and composites. The system will provide for these research activities macro- and micro-area elemental and chemical state spectroscopy and imaging, angle resolved depth analysis, sputter depth profiling using argon and polyatomic ion guns for hard and soft materials, respectively, in situ variable temperature measurements, and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) for spectroscopy and mapping with a spatial resolution below 100 nm.
The project involved the acquisition of a state-of-the-art x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) surface analysis instrumentation system for the Greater Philadelphia region. The instrument is capable of performing chemical analysis and mapping of the surfaces of solid materials down to an area as small as 10-15 μm, which is about the size of the thinnest human hair. The instrument is extremely sensitive to what is on the surface being able to probe the chemical composition of surface layers that are roughly 1 million times thinner than human skin. The XPS system has been established as an openly accessible multi-user shared instrumentation facility that is placed in the Centralized Research Facilities at Drexel University. This system is now fully operational and is available to users both in academia and industry, and a website that details the instrument capabilities, access info, and user fees has been set up. Many students and faculty at Drexel University and beyond, including the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Franklin & Marshall College, have been trained in using the instrument, and research and collaborations have been enhanced as a result. In addition, several industrial users have already found valuable use of this facility. The XPS system remains the only shared user facility of its kind in the region, and is expected to continue to enhance and support a wide range of research activities and programs, including the development of new energy materials, nanomaterials, thin films, and coatings.