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Surface Analysis Lab

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. 


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

  • Please contact Nick Popczun ( regarding sample submissions.

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

Lab Website

008 Hahn Hall South


Nick Popczun (
Research Scientist


Service Rates


External - Federal Grant

External - Commercial

Shipping Address

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