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Multispectral Optical Imaging Combined in situ with XPS or ToFSIMS and Principal Component Analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Cumpson, Professor Ian Fletcher, Richie Burnett, Dr Naoko Sano, Dr Anders Barlow, Dr Jose Portoles, Andy Kiang



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


All X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) instruments have optical cameras to image the specimen under analysis, and often to image the sample holder as it enters the system too. These cameras help the user find the appropriate points for analysis of specimens. However they seldom give as good images as stand-alone bench optical microscopes, due to the limited geometry, source/analyser solid angle and Ultra-High-Vacuum (UHV) design compromises. This often means that the images displayed to the user necessarily have low contrast, low resolution and poor depth-of-field. To help identify the different regions of the samples present we have found it useful to perform multispectral imaging by illuminating the sample with narrow-wavelength-range light emitting diodes (LEDs). By taking an image under the illumination of these LEDs in turn, each at a successively longer wavelength, one can build-up a set of registered images that contain more information than a simple Red-Green-Blue image under white-light illumination. We show that this type of multispectral imaging is easy and inexpensive to fit to common XPS and ToF-SIMS instruments, using LEDs that are widely available. In our system we typically use 14 LEDs including one emitting in the ultraviolet (so as to allow fluorescent imaging) and three in the near infra-red. The design considerations of this system are discussed in detail, including the design of the drive and control electronics, and three practical examples are presented where this multispectral imaging was extremely useful.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cumpson PJ, Fletcher IW, Burnett R, Sano N, Barlow AJ, Portoles JF, Li LW, Kiang AS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Surface and Interface Analysis

Year: 2016

Volume: 48

Issue: 13

Pages: 1370-1378

Print publication date: 01/12/2016

Online publication date: 20/05/2016

Acceptance date: 20/04/2016

Date deposited: 20/04/2016

ISSN (print): 0142-2421

ISSN (electronic): 1096-9918

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1002/sia.6046


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