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A sample's surface can have completely different chemistry than its bulk. Contaminants or oxidation by-products can dramatically affect the sample's visual appearance, its resistance to corrosive environments, and the sample's ability to be bonded to other surfaces.
SEM/EDX analysis is a very useful elemental analysis technique, but it has an analysis depth of about 1 micron, which is far too deep to detect a sample's true surface composition.
SEAL Laboratories has two different surface analysis instruments dedicated to surface analysis. Both ESCA and Auger analysis measure low energy electrons emitted from the sample surface to perform the analysis. It is because these electrons have such low energies that prevents them from escaping from beyond 10-100 Angtroms from the sample surface. The method by which these electrons are produced differentiates between the two techniques. Each technique has its own advantages so depending on the sample type and what information is needed about its surface, you can be sure we can find the answers to your problems.
For further information on Auger and ESCA analysis, contact: Dr. Arun Kumar
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