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Introduction to X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and XPS Application for Biologically Related Objects

By Dmitry Zemlyanov

Purdue University

Published on


X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), which is known as Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis (ESCA), is a powerful research tool for the study of the surface of solids. The technique becomes widely used for studies of the properties of atoms, molecules, solids, and surfaces. The main success of the XPS technique is associated with studies of the physical and chemical phenomena on the surface of solids. These investigations were limited by relatively simple inorganic reactions and not many biologically related objects were approached by XPS. There are impartial reasons for low involvement of XPS into investigations of biologically related objects. First, organic chemistry samples often exhibit high vapor pressure and therefore, degas badly in vacuum. This is not compatible with XPS technique. Second, X-rays might cause radioactive damage of a sample. Third, the C 1s region, which is most informative for organic chemistry samples, is narrow and the photoemission peaks can over crowd the region.

In this presentation, successful examples of XPS studies of bio-related specimen will be presented. In particularly, the systematic XPS investigation of four peptide-silane and peptide-silane hybrid sol-gel thin films prepared under biologically benign conditions will be reported. This work demonstrates a use for XPS to characterized biologically inspired surfaces, providing critical information on peptide coverage on the surface of the materials. The self-assembling layer characterization will be considered on the examples of thiols on Au and aryl diazonium molecules on Si (111).


Dmitry Zemlyanov received his Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics from the Novosibirsk State University, Russia. He is currently a Surface Science Application Scientist at the Birck Nanotechnology Center and is in charge of the Surface Analysis Facility at Birck. Earlier, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Fritz-Haber-Institute, Berlin, at Worchester Polytechnic Institute, MA; an adjunct assistant professor at the Physics Department, Worchester Polytechnic Institute, MA, and a research fellow at Material and Surface Science Institute, University of Limerick, Ireland. His research interests include surface science, heterogeneous catalysis, surface phenomena.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Dmitry Zemlyanov (2007), "Introduction to X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and XPS Application for Biologically Related Objects," https://nanohub.org/resources/2335.

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