The Surface Science Laboratory
Peter M. A. Sherwood
Regents Professor of Physics, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Kansas State University Ph.D. (Cambridge) 1970, Sc.D. (Cambridge) 1995, F.R.S.C., F.Inst. P.
Research Scientist Ph.D. (Institute for Metals Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences) 1993
Surface science is now a very well established method for the examination of surfaces. Professor Sherwood's research group has been involved in using surface analytical probes, especially X‑ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) of material surfaces with particular interest in:
- Electrode surfaces.
- Corrosion systems.
- Material surface properties.
- Carbon Fiber surfaces and their relevance to the mechanical properties of composite materials.
- Data Analysis and Interpretation.
The aim of the research has been to develop the experimental techniques and the theoretical basis of the work, in order to tackle the complex but very important practical problems concerning material properties, corrosion and surface oxidation and chemistry. The work is an example of how basic chemistry can be applied to analyze and understand important practical problems, many of which have a direct relevance to industry. A number of these projects have and continue to involve direct contact with and funding from industry.
Principal Research Contributions
- Early and continuing studies of electrode surface chemistry using an anaerobic electrochemical cell with a focus on corrosion and oxidation.
- Development of data analysis methods in X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.
- Studies of carbon fiber surface chemistry with a view to developing better composite materials.
- The development of valence band photoemission as a method for surface analysis.
Research Facilities Available
Located in Physical Sciences I, the group has three laboratories giving a total of 2450 net square foot (nsf) of space (excluding 400 nsf of office space). One (500 nsf) of these laboratories is fitted with two hoods and benches and cupboards appropriate for synthesis. The second (1250 nsf) of these laboratories is specially designed to house instrumentation, and contains all the major equipment listed below. The laboratory also has two fume hoods and benches. The third laboratory (500 nsf) is occupied by computer equipment and the electron microprobe.
The main items of equipment are an AEI ES200B X ray photoelectron spectrometer, a VSW HA150 monochromatized X ray photoelectron spectrometer, a Surface Science Instruments monochromatized X-ray photoelectron spectrometer and a SAGE 100 compact X-ray photoelectron spectrometer system. The HA150 instrument is fitted with a Kratos scanning Auger system (3000Å spot size) and a SIMS system (1000 a.m.u. quadrupole and FAB/ion gun). The SAGE 100 system is a totally automated internet controlled system capable of studying large number of samples of substantial size with high sample throughput. An Electron Microprobe has both energy and wavelength X-ray detection. Electrochemical equipment appropriate for corrosion and oxidation studies is available and this can be used with the anaerobic cell described above.
A sample treatment chamber that allows anaerobic electrochemical and liquid treatment of surfaces together with vacuum evaporation on the VSW HA150 instrument. The VSW instrument has a 150mm hemispherical analyzer, 32 crystal X-ray monochromator and 16 channel multichannel detection system. A special treatment chamber that allows carbon fibers to be heated and coated in a special chamber.
This page was last updated August 16, 2007 8:11 AM