Review of the 2018 European Users’ Meeting

May 17th 2018

Our 2018 European Users' Meeting was held on the 15th - 17th May at Hotel Football in a room with views across the Bridgewater Canal to Manchester Utd.  The meeting was opened with a welcome and overview of Kratos and our parent company, Shimadzu Corporation by our MD Kozo Shimazu.  Business Manager, Chris Blomfield welcomed the 47 attendees, from 32 institutes to Manchester.  The morning session was kicked off by Dr Marc Walker, University of Warwick presenting 'A journey across the sciences - A multidisciplinary approach to XPS' in which he presented XPS data from bacteria to meteorites'.  In his presentation 'Charge Neutralisation - What price does the analyst pay', Dr. David Morgan Cardiff Uni & Harwell XPS) contrasted his experiences using the Kratos electron only charge neutraliser on his AXIS instrument with the mixed Ar+ ions and electrons approach employed by Thermo.  This lead nicely to an interesting talk by Dr Grzegorz Greczynski, University of Linkoping detailing 'C 1s peak of adventitious carbon aligns to the vacuum level: dire consequences for material’s bonding assignment by photoelectron spectroscopy' which lead to an interesting discussion on charge referencing.  The final presentation before lunch was 'AXIS technology - Tuning and consequences for quantification' from Dr Adam Roberts, providing insights to how Kratos ensures that the AXIS spectrometers provide accurate quantification.

Post lunch Dr Sarah Coultas (Kratos Analytical) gave her presentation titled 'Databases, e-spectra & the software road-map' which was followed by a discussion on what our Users wanted from thier software and what features and ideas we should look to develop to add value to the data acquired from Kratos instruments.  The afternoon coffee break included a poster session with posters from Dr Josef Polcak and Samuel Seddon.  The final talk of the day was from one of our Users at QUT, Brisbane who definitely won the prize for longest journey time to attend the meeting.  Liz Graham gave us an insight into 'Analysis from the Southern Hemisphere - The AXIS Supra at QUT'.  

Our evening social was an unforgettable cruise around Salford Quays and along the River Irwell into Manchester city centre with a curry that proved to be the talking point of the evening.

The second day saw the meeting start with a mini bio-session kicked off by Atta ul Haq titled Dielectric Barrier Discharge-induced Functional Surfaces of Polymeric Substrates for Bio-devices where he introduced results from surface characterisation of plasma modified polymer surfaces and related them to water contact angle measurements.  The bio-session was continued by Dr Jon Counsell who presented results from the applications lab on depth profiling drug eluting stents and array analysis of combinatorial printed polymers in his presentation Characterising bio-surfaces with XPS.  After a much needed caffeine intake Dr Vincent Fernandez introduced Different ways to fit spectra which included the vector and multivariate analysis available using CasaXPS.  The next presentaion was from Dr Koen Lammers of Tata Steel, Netherlands who gave an interesting overview of XPS characterisation of tri-valent Cr coating technology as replacement for electro-coated Cr steel which stimulated discussion around the successful use of the AXIS Ultra for analysis of magnetic samples.  Of interest to many of the attendees was the presentation from Dr Will Boxford on GCIS theory & practice who explained, amongst other things, why we used Ar to create our gas clusters for use in the GCIS.  This was a great introduction to Dr Jon Counsell's second presentation of the day where he reviewed his work on Depth profiling inorganic materials with GCIS.  

The final session of the meeting saw Dr Emily Smith present A model for  the effect of over-layer species on peak intensities in XPS - silicone layers on ionic liquid followed by Dr Adam Roberts presenting Using Ag La excitation source for high energy XPS which was prompted by the increasing interest in high energy XPS.  Next up was Dr Tatyana Bendikov with Electron Spectroscopy Unit in Weizmann Institute Quick Review of Activities giving a really elegant overview of some of the accessories including the glove box for analysis of air sensitive samples and UPS for valence band studies.  Saving one of the best to last we heard from Dr Steve Spenser on Measuring coating thickness on structured surfaces using XPS.

For those that were staying on for the 'surgery' sessions the following day we headed to Sam's Chop House in Manchester for some traditional English cooking, the highlight being the sticky toffee pudding.

The final day of the meeting was hosted at Kratos with attendees able to book slots on the AXIS spectrometers in the applications lab and meetings with Business, Sales and Support Managers.  This was a departure from the more formal workshops that we have offered at previous meetings but feedback was that Users appreciated the opportunity for one-to-one time with Kratos colleagues.