A system is presented which combines photoelectron spectroscopy with complementary characterization techniques in order to provide in situ analysis of surfaces processes. The real-time capability of photoelectron spectroscopy has been enabled by an electron counting array detector that allows core and valence level spectra to be recorded in 1–10 s using a laboratory X-ray source and as low as 25 ms when coupled to synchrotron radiation source.
The efficient detection system is combined with a versatile heater stage, temperature and vacuum monitoring, and controllable evaporation sources in order to monitor chemical, structural and electronic changes in situ. The heated stage allows a range of programmed heating and cooling regimes to be applied to samples. Evaporation sources are provided for medium-temperature materials such as small organic molecules and high-temperature metals such as aluminium. The system has a linked vacuum vessel for plasma etching and Ar ion sputtering for surface preparation.