X-ray and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopies (XPS and UPS, respectively) provide information on chemical composition, chemical states, and electronic properties of surfaces and interfaces, which are critical to assist the understanding and further development of materials for a broad range of applications. The UPS capability coupled with the C60 ion sputtering source further expands the instrumentation capability to 'soft materials' such as organic, polymeric, and biological materials, which have received great scientific interests in recent decades. Examples of current NSF sponsored projects at the University of Florida that will greatly benefit from this instrument include: (1) characterization of organic-based semiconductors and interfaces for electronic and optoelectronic applications; (2) surfaces and interfaces of metal phosphonate and cyanometallate materials; (3) molecular approaches to directional growth of nanostructures for nanoelectronics; (4) microstructure-informed design methodology for advanced magnesium alloys; (5) graphene and other carbon-based materials and interfaces; (6) self-assembled colloidal nanoparticles for magnetic/biosensing applications. The Major Analytical Instrumentation Center (MAIC) is a user facility providing analytical microscopy and spectrometry instrumentation support to all disciplines at the university and the surrounding community. The state-of-the-art XPS/UPS instrument requested in this proposal replaces a 25-year-old XPS system, which not only accelerates the progress in various research programs through the vastly increased efficiency, but also provides new information through spatial imaging, high resolution chemical profiling, and vast expansion of the realm of materials to be characterized. The broader impacts of this instrumentation are also realized through a number of educational and outreach activities at the University of Florida and beyond.

Non-Technical Summary:

The advancement of many modern technologies, such as various energy solutions (storage, conversion, and conservation), nanotechnology, electronics and photonics, biomaterials and biotechnology, and transportation, rests upon the fundamental understanding of surfaces of the relevant materials and/or interfaces between different material components. One of the most informative surface analytical techniques is the x-ray or ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS and UPS, respectively), in which an x-ray or ultraviolet light is shone on the targeted materials and the types of atoms and the local chemical environment and physical properties of these atoms in the material near the surface are revealed by analyzing the energy of electrons ejected from the material surface. Buried material interfaces can also be probed when combining XPS/UPS with appropriate material deposition or removal techniques. The state-of-the-art XPS/UPS instrument requested in this proposal replaces a 25-year-old XPS system at the Major Analytical Instrumentation Center (MAIC), a user facility at the University of Florida which hosts an array of analytical instrumentation for the study of various types of materials. The new instrument provides vastly increased efficiency, new information through spatial imaging, higher energy resolution, and vast expansion of the realm of materials to be characterized. Furthermore, the new instrument provides unique opportunities for the cross-disciplinary research training and education of many graduate and undergraduate students, as well as opportunities for outreach to K-12 students and teachers and the general science and engineering community.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
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Charles E. Bouldin
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University of Florida
United States
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