Successful European Users' Meeting 2022

July 20th 2022

We hosted our European Users' Meeting at Emirates Old Trafford in July a few days before England were comprehensively beaten by India in a one-day international.

As well as those attending in-person, we were joined by 20+ online attendees.  

Dr Chris Blomfield, Director of Kratos Analytical Ltd, opened the meeting with a welcome address and review of the Surface Analysis business over the last 2 years, highlighting the successes and record sales for the last financial year.  The first presentation of the scientific sessions was give by Dr. Dave Morgan, Cardiff University titled Revisiting the Beamson and Briggs Degradation Index with Modern Spectrometers.  He highlighted the care required when using high-power monochromatic X-ray sources and more importantly the effect of neutralisation method on polymer degradation.  Next to present was Dr Alex Shard from NPL.  In his presentation, Calibrating XPS intensities, Dr Shard discussed revisiting work from the 1990's and highlighted work that was undertaken to determine the transmission function of the Kratos AXIS spectrometers using the Ag La excitation source.  

The theme of HAXPES was continued by Dr Sarah Coultas, Applications Manager here at Kratos.  She presented Ag monochromatic excitation  - A practical guide to its use in which the advantages of using the higher energy photon source were outlined using a number of applications examples.  Dr Stuart Leadley from Dow Silicones, presented Applying Monochromated Silver X-rays to the Surface Characterisation of Silicon Containing Materials.  This was an interesting talk presenting data from a number of model substituted silicones, materials that span the interface between organic and inorganic materials.  The final contribution of the opening day was Characterisation of the SEI layer on a LIB anode by Dr Adam Roberts, presenting data generated by Shimadzu colleagues in our Kyoto applications lab.

Our social event proved extremely popular.  We spent an evening with mixologist Jamie at the Dirty Old Town Distillery, home to Salford Rum.  We learnt about the history of rum and the spices used to give the spirit its unique flavour as well as trying the 3 rums produced by Salford Rum.  

The second day of the meeting was started by Dr Lena Patterer and Eva Mayer, presenting Hydrogen-based reduction of iron oxide thin films studied by in-situ XPS.  In their presentation they highlighted reduction of model catalysts in the form of iron-oxide films by back-filling the load-lock with a argon-hydrogen gas mixture.  Our second presenter of the day was Dr Erdni Batyrev from Tata Steel, Netherlands who talked on a NAP XPS concept for Kratos ULTRA DLD.  This was followed by an innovative presentation from Dr Marc Walker from the University of Warwick.  In his presentation, 70 Shades of XPS - an Adventure in to the Unknown, Marc allowed the audience to nominate an element from a list of the 70 that he has analysed during his career.  The nominations were drawn from a bag and Dr Walker presented a slide with data from that element with the motivation for the study.  The final morning slot was filled by Dr Jacqueline van Veldhoven, TNO, Netherlands presenting Multi-technique surface analysis for the EUV-lithography industry.  This was a great overview of the use of surface analysis to investigate how optical surfaces (mirrors and masks) are affected by exposure to EUV-environment.

After lunch our applications colleague Dr Jon Counsell presented a compilation of applications and a recent publication which have utilised the array analysis functionality of the ESCApe software in his talk Array analysis - measuring lateral inhomogeneity.  Another informative talk from Dr. Will Boxford, Physicist at Kratos Analytical highlighted the Principles and applications of the gas cluster ion source.  His presentation was a good mix of theory, application and practical tips.

For Users who were unable to attend, either in-person or online recordings of the presentations are available in the Members Area of the website.  We'd encourage you to click through and watch any that might be of interest.  

As with previous meetings, the feedback was very positive, with the ability for Users to meet Kratos colleagues as well as other Users the primary motivation stated for attending in-person.  It will be interesting to see if there are any collaborations initiated after discussions between Users' at this meeting.