ESCA analysis is an incredibly useful materials testing technique that has quality control applications for many industries including medical device and electronics manufacturing. In this post, we’ll deconstruct and explore this material testing technique.
What is ESCA Analysis?
ESCA analysis, also known as Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis or X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), is a surface analysis technique that provides elemental and binding energy information about a sample material’s surfaces and interfaces.
How Does ESCA Analysis Work?
ESCA analysis utilizes an x-ray beam to excite the molecules on the surface of a solid material, resulting in the emission of photoelectrons. An energy analysis of these photoelectrons provides both elemental and chemical bonding information about the sample’s surface. ESCA can detect all elements from lithium to uranium with detection limits of ca. 0.1 atomic percent.
Where and When Can ESCA Be Used?
ESCA is an especially useful materials testing technique for the medical device industry. For example, ESCA can be used for evaluating the passivation of Nitinol, which is often used for medical devices meant for implantation into the human body. The passivation layer is critical to ensuring product safety. ESCA can measure the thickness of the passivation layer, as wells as detailed information about the amount of nickel present on the surface of the treated area.
As another example, a plastics manufacturer discovered that a polyethylene part was exhibiting a brown-colored contamination. Because of the part’s proximity to a piece of steel, the brown material was suspected to be rust. ESCA analysis was able to find the presence of iron, magnesium, silicon, sodium, and oxygen, which all supported the initial assumption of rust.
ESCA is also useful for:
- Studying the surface chemistry of polymers, glasses and other insulators.
- Resolving issues related to metal interdiffusion, resin-to-metal adhesion and oxidation.
Quality control is a critical part of the manufacturing process. ESCA analysis from a materials testing lab like Innovatech Labs is an excellent tool to ensure that quality standards are being met.
For more information on ESCA analysis services from Innovatech Labs, contact us today.