Project 193 established for the first time traceable energy and intensity scales for two of the three surface analytical techniques primarily used in industry, namely X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and auger electron spectroscopy (AES). The results of this work have been accepted as a significant step forward in the quantification of these techniques.
More recently, as a direct result of the methodology adopted for the AES energy/intensity project, NPL has been able to establish an AES/XPS instrument which is fully characterised and can provide absolute spectra. Using these, it will be possible via an intercomparison to establish for the first time absolute energy/intensity transmission functions for different spectrometers as distinct to the relative ones. Having done so, the way will be open to proceed towards improved quantification by, in addition, making use of background substraction (project 317). Absolute spectra will be obtained under strictly controlled conditions for the materials used in XPS and AES intercomparisons (Ag, Au and Cu). An intercomparison will then be held in which participants with different designs of instrument will determine the same spectra for a wide range of operating conditions. The results will be analysed to determine if it is possible to produce master calibrations for each spectrometer type or if, at the 3% accuracy level, individual calibrations are required.