Gas cluster ion beam

The Thermo Scientific MAGCIS™ dual mode ion source enables depth profiling analysis and surface cleaning of both soft and hard materials on the same XPS instrument. Switching between gas cluster sputtering and monatomic sputtering is handled completely by Avantage software, and can be done in a matter of seconds.

Dual-mode ion sources for XPS analysis

Investigating the oil-resistant coatings on touch screens, measuring plasma deposited coatings of bio-medical devices, or understanding organic LEDs or solar cells requires the ability to etch and measure individual layers of materials using depth profiling.

The monatomic ion source used for many years for depth profiling and surface cleaning has limitations when used on softer materials such as polymers. These ions will induce damage in the surface and change the chemistry of the analyte. New gas cluster ion sources overcome these limitations, enabling the analysis of several classes of materials previously inaccessible to XPS depth profiling.

Enabling XPS Analysis of New Materials

XPS analysis of new materials

A dual mode ion source removes both hard and soft materials without altering the chemistry of the remaining surface. XPS systems fitted with a source producing monatomic argon ions work particularly well for inorganic materials. Gas cluster ion sources minimize the damage by reducing the energy going into the surface.

By making our projectile much heavier, using a weakly bound cluster of gas atoms, we can still remove material but we can spread the energy and single charge across the whole cluster. This vastly decreases the "damage zone" in the remaining surface, as there is significantly less energy imparted into the material by the cluster impact, and results in XPS spectra that accurately represent the real surface chemistry.


Depth profiling with monatomic and gas cluster ion beam

Devices are not usually based around one type of material, but may be a mixture of organic and inorganic compounds. One example, shown here, is the analysis of an organic FET showing both monatomic and gas cluster ion etching.

The twin operating modes of the MAGCIS source facilitate depth profiles of both organic and inorganic materials. The Thermo Scientific Avantage XPS data system controls simple mode switching during the experiment.

The MAGCIS source performs the first part of the profile in cluster mode to preserve the sensitive organo-metallic chemistry, before changing to monatomic mode for the inorganic layer, creating a full profile of the entire device.

Style Sheet to change H2 style to p with em-h2-header class


Style Sheet for Instrument Cards Original

Nexsa G2 XPS

  • Micro-focus X-ray sources
  • Unique multi-technique options
  • Dual-mode ion source for monoatomic & cluster ion depth profiling


  • High spectral resolution
  • Multi-technique surface analysis
  • Extensive sample preparation and expansion options

Contact us

Style Sheet for Support and Service footer
Style Sheet for Fonts
Style Sheet for Cards

Electron microscopy services for
the materials science

To ensure optimal system performance, we provide you access to a world-class network of field service experts, technical support, and certified spare parts.