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Surface Analysis Lab

Notice: The Surface Analysis Laboratory is open and operating under an approved COVID-19 standard operating procedure, effective June 3, 2020. 

Researchers who wish to use the SAL facility must read the updated COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures document prior to submitting samples. Anyone who violates the SOP will be denied service or have their user privilege revoked.

Any questions about the procedures may be directed to Xu Feng (

Last updated June 3, 2020

The Surface Analysis Laboratory in the Department of Chemistry at Virginia Tech offers state-of-the-art instrumentation and contemporary surface analysis techniques to researchers across the university and industry. To read up on the latest SAL news and information, visit their website at


X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)

  • Chemical State Identification
  • Sputter Depth Profiling
  • Elemental and Chemical State Mapping


PHI VersaProbe III

  • Monochromatic, micro-focused, scanning x-ray source
  • Superior Micro Area Performance
  • Minimum x-ray beam size of 9µm
  • Scanning x-ray image (SXI) for accurate point-and-click analysis area definition
  • Sample Versatility
  • No-tune dual beam charge neutralization for insulating materials

Sample Submission

To use the Surface Analysis Lab, please submit your sample, sample submission form, and Interdepartmental Service Request (ISR) to the lab.  Instructions for creating an ISR can be found here. Services will be rendered only after the ISR has been processed. 

Sample Submission Forms

To facilitate the measurements and analysis, please include as much information about your samples as you can, such as the physical structure and history (reagents, precursors, solvents, etc.) of your sample, and expected chemical states of elements.

Please note that samples have a size limitation of either

  • 60mm × 60mm × 5mm, or
  • 15mm × 5mm × 10mm


Service Center Information

008 Hahn Hall South


Xu Feng,


Service Rates


External - Federal Grant

External - Commercial

Shipping Address

Surface Analysis Laboratory
ATTN: Xu Feng
Department of Chemistry
Davidson Hall Rm 171, Virginia Tech
1040 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061