National Physical Laboratory

Calibration software and reference materials for electron spectrometers

NPL has developed software for intensity calibration of cylindrical mirror analyser (CMA) or hemispherical sector analyser (HSA) spectrometers used in Auger electron (AES) and X-ray photoelectron (XPS) instruments. With spectra acquired from copper, silver and gold reference materials, the software can be used to calculate the intensity response function (or transmission function) of the spectrometer.

  • Calibration gives the transmission function over kinetic energy range 20 to 2500 eV in AES, and the entire Al or Mg Binding Energy range in XPS.
  • The calibrated response function is then available as a digital output data file of values at 1 eV intervals, and as an analytical function.
  • Software automatically prints a five page Certificate of Calibration.

Spectra acquired subsequently can be divided by the Intensity/Energy Response Function to obtain spectra which are genuinely intercomparable with those from other calibrated instruments, typically to an accuracy of a few percent. If, in AES, the primary beam current is also measured, one can even obtain spectra with absolute intensities in SI units.

Benefits of spectrometer calibration include:

  • The intensity response function of your spectrometer in the form of an easy-to-evaluate equation.
  • Plots of response as a function of kinetic energy.
  • A VAMAS file of the response function for use in quantification of subsequent spectra.
  • Excellent precision in both Auger electron and X-ray photoelectron spectrometers (AES and XPS).
  • Gives analyses which are genuinely comparable from instrument to instrument at this level of precision.
  • Maintenance of correct instrument behaviour by performance tracking.
  • Five page calibration certificate for your spectrometer, in the format proposed under ISO Guide 25, and ideal for ISO 17025, minimising paper work for those seeking accreditation under any of the laboratory measurement accreditation schemes, such as UKAS in the UK.

Download a demonstration version of the AES software: AES.exe (Self Extracting Zip File Zip file 5.0 MB)

Download a demonstration version of the XPS software: XPS.exe (Self Extracting Zip File Zip file 5.3 MB)

These are self-extracting files which contain the software, manuals, installation instructions and help file. Double clicking on the executable file expands the contents. Follow the installation procedure in the file readme1st.txt to install a demonstration version of the calibration system.

Note that, during installation, a directory C:/NPLCALIB/AES/SPECTRA or C:/NPLCALIB/XPS/SPECTRA is created which contains Cu, Ag and Au example spectra. These are helpful for testing the software and are examples of typical analysts' spectra. They are not, of course, in any way Reference Spectra and cannot be used to calibrate anything.

You can now try the demonstration system with your own spectra in order to confirm that the spectra load satisfactorily and that the system behaves in accordance with your wishes. Certificates generated by the demonstration version are for illustration only and cannot be used for calibration.

But, to perform valid calibrations (rather than simply evaluate the software) you will need to:

  • Purchase a licence to use the software in its fully functioning mode
    If you wish to upgrade to a fully functioning calibration system, email the Identity Code of your PC generated by the software to nanoanalysis@npl.co.uk. We will then contact you to inform you how payment can be made. Once we have received your payment we will send information to complete the upgrade.
  • Purchase the Reference Materials
    Copper, silver and gold foil reference materials SCAA87 are available for use in conjunction with the AES calibration software. They may also be used for energy scale calibration in accordance with ISO 17973 and ISO 17974.

    Copper, silver and gold foil reference materials SCAA90 are available for use in conjunction with the XPS calibration software. They may also be used for energy scale calibration in accordance with ISO 15472.

Please email nanoanalysis@npl.co.uk for ordering details.

Pricing

  • AES Calibration Software licencing: 595 GBP
  • AES Calibration Software licencing & Reference Materials: 695 GBP
  • Reference Materials purchased separately: 250 GBP
  • XPS Calibration Software licencing: 995 GBP
  • XPS Calibration Software licencing & Reference Materials: 1095 GBP
  • Reference Materials purchased separately: 250 GBP

Contact

Customer Service tel: +44 20 8943 8637
E-mail: nanoanalysis_enquiries@npl.co.uk

Last Updated: 5 Mar 2012
Created: 17 Jan 2012