Electron multipliers used in PHI AES and XPS analyzers

The Physical Electronics AES cylindrical mirror (CMA), double-pass ESCA (XPS) and single channel SCA hemisphere analyzers use variations of the Channeltron® (registered trade mark of Photonis – Burle – Galileo) type of electron multiplier. The function of the electron multiplier is to increase the number of electrons that the analyzer detects by a gain of up to 2 X 108.

All of these electron multipliers have the same connection scheme – the front of the multiplier is where the electrons enter and it is biased by the negative (NEG) lead of the electron multiplier supply. With respect to ground, the multiplier NEG is actually biased positive by 50 to 300 VDC, depending on the specific analyzer. The center connector of the electron multiplier is connected to the positive (POS) lead of the electron multiplier supply. The POS is biased with a positive voltage of up to 3000 VDC depending on the specific analyzer.  Typically though, once the multiplier voltage needs to be set above 2500 VDC in order to obtain reasonable signal to noise, it is time to replace the electron multiplier. Finally, the back end of the multiplier (furthest away from the opening at the front) is connected to the collector connector on the analyzer. For most CMAs the collector wire on the electron multiplier is connected to the PC (pulse count) connector via a 50pf capacitor, and to the COL or ANA connector via a 100k ohm resistor.electron multiplier






There are only two things that you need to know about these multipliers:

  1. They have a limited shelf life. If you are not planning on using an electron multiplier shortly after you buy it then you need to store it under vacuum. Storing it in a desiccator will not prevent degradation. A few weeks are OK, but after a few months the gain will start to drop off noticeably.
  2. When installing the multiplier, remember that the front with the hole in it is the NEG, the middle is the POS and the back end is the COL.

Below is a table that shows the RBD Instruments Inc. part numbers for the electron multipliers used in the various Physical Electronics analyzers that we service and provide replacement parts for.

System Type Analyzer Electron Multiplier
5100 XPS 10-360 SCA 4821GRE
540 AES 10-150, 10-155 4839RE
545 AES, 15-110 4731GRE
590 AES 25-110 4731GRE
548 ESCA 15-255G 4831GRE
560 ESCA, 570  ESCA 25-260, 25-270 4831GRE
600 AES 660 AES 25-120A 4831GRE


RBD Instruments Inc. also provides channel plates for the 5300 and 5400 XPS analyzers, and the Chevron plates for the 5500 to 5800 series of XPS analyzers.