Key Features


  • For High Intensity XPS Measurements
  • Can be Pumped Differentally
  • Cooled Nose Cone


  • For High Energy Resolution XPS
  • High Power and Focused Spot Mode
  • Low Radiation Impact on Sensitive Samples


The SIGMA LAX X-ray source is a high power dual-anode excitation source for high intensity XPS measurements and large area illumination of samples for imaging XPS applications.

Two main excitation energies can be selected using two different anode coating materials. Typically, the dual-anode operates at 400W when coated with Magnesium (Mg Kα 1253.6eV) and Aluminum (Al Kα 1486.7eV), but a variety of different materials such as Zirconium, Silver, Titanium and more are available on request.

An easy to replace thin foil Aluminum window separates the X-ray generating part of the source from the sample area and reduces Bremsstrahlung. If XPS measurements are performed under elevated pressure in the analysis chamber the LAX can be pumped differentially so that the high voltage anode is maintained at a low vacuum pressure.

The LAX incorporates a water cooled nose cone and high thermal conductivity of the anodes for efficient heat dissipation even at high powers to minimize sample heating without the need for additional sample cooling.


The MECS high power monochromated excitation source is intended for high energy resolution XPS measurements and especially where radiation and temperature sensitive materials are analysed.

The monochromator utilizes a quartz crystal mirror for the Bragg reflection and focusing of Al-Kα radiation on a Rowland circle with 500mm diameter. This way, Bremsstrahlung radiation and satellite photon lines are eliminated through absorption during reflection with the quartz focusing crystal.

The lower X-ray flux and thermal radiation from the heated filaments and anode ensure a reduced sample damage compared with a dual-anode X-ray source. By selecting the filament the operational mode can be switched between two modes, high power 600W and focused spot for ~Ø1mm illumination at the sample.

The monochromator housing is fully bakeable. It mounts on to a DN63CF (4.5" CF) chamber flange with a port length of 203mm and will mount to a class leading chamber diameter of >310mm.

The crystal mirror can be adjusted by two orthogonal tilts and one linear motion which makes it both rapid and simple to fine tune the monochromator for reproducible and ultimate performance.

Focusing mechanism is located on the top flange so that the MECS retains a compact volume enabling it to be mounted to the a wide range of XPS platforms.

Instrument Control

Operation of the X-ray sources is made easy.

The supply electronics X-ray CU is based on a standard 19” rack unit. Both the LAX and MECS can be operated individually or in tandem via dedicated electronics. The shared control saves both space and money for the operator and a single digital interface provides safe control of the anode cooling with a dedicated recirculating water chiller.

Accurate control of both LAX and MECS is a feature of the new class leading NEO control suite either as a stand-alone instrument or as part of an automated experimental suite. When operated in combination with the ASPECT analyser NEO control suite opens up a wide range of high performance XPS analysis modes, such as, multi-sample and multi-mode analysis including unique Multi-Peak monitoring capability, all without the need for user interaction.

NEO control suite also provides the operator a safe automated environment in which to degassing and condition the LAX and MECS X-ray source filaments on start-up following venting. Once conditioned the anode voltage can be setup up to 15kV and the power regulated up to 600W depending on the source, with safety interlocks as standard.

User interface in NEO for the X-RAY source
X-RAY source integration into the NEO experiment automation