PHI Genesis – XPS and HAXPES combined in an automated multi-technology platform

High-tech products such as semiconductors or solid-state batteries today consist of very complex combinations of materials. XPS and HAXPES provide the necessary information to understand the properties and behaviour of these materials. Other important tasks include defect analysis and the testing of cleaning processes.

With PHI Genesis, ULVAC-PHI has integrated its highly successful XPS systems into one platform. XPS & HAXPES – surface analysis with two different excitation sources:

  • XPS has an information depth of approx. 5nm
  • HAXPES has an information depth of about 15nm

The key technology in all PHI systems is the scanning X-ray source. It enables XPS analysis with very small beam diameters and at the same time a high-count rate. The scanning X-ray source is also the technology behind the so-called SXI imaging. SXI imaging allows imaging of your surface with the scanning X-ray beam and thus sample navigation as you are used to from an SEM.

Successful application examples – Challenges and Solutions

Analysis of multi-layer coatings on glass


Which coatings are present on the glass surface and in which concentration and depth?
Does the measured concentration / coating thickness match expectations?
Important e.g., for anti-reflective coatings or similar functional coatings (spectacles and other optical components)


  • Depth profiling/sputter depth profile on the sample shows:
  • Occurrence of individual elements (here e.g., N, Si, Al) on the surface.
  • In the depth these are Zn, O, Ti, Sn and Ag
  • The substrate consists of SiO2
  • The thickness of the individual layers can be determined
  • Comparison with the target values of the layer thicknesses is possible

Semiconductor materials: non-destructive analysis of chemical bonds at interfaces of individual layers


Non-destructive analysis is often necessary for development or failure analysis:
Which layer systems are present?
How can these be analysed non-destructively and thus faster and more effectively?


  • HAXPES provides more data on electron states compared to XPS.
  • The most intense HAXPES peak (here Ga 2p) can be used for analysis.
  • This peak is hardly visible in the XPS spectrum
  • HAXPES can provide data on layer thicknesses (of the gate oxide)

Composition of solder balls in micro-electronics


What is the proportion of metallic tin (Sn) vs. oxide?
Is my electronic component not functional because the solder balls are too oxidised?


Examination of the solder balls using HAXPES (in comparison to XPS)

  • HAXPES data show not only the oxide on the surface, but also the metal further down.
  • HAXPES data thus allow a more accurate estimation of the amount of oxidised tin
  • XPS data here only come from the surface and thus essentially only detect the oxide and very little metallic tin
  • Comparison of good vs. bad component is possible with HAXPES
  • Tin oxide is a poor electrical conductor

Contact us

Physical Electronics GmbH
Salzstraße 8
85622 Feldkirchen near Munich

Telephone: +49 89 96275 0

For privacy reasons Google Maps needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy Policy.
I Accept