The ambient-pressure endstation and branchline of the Versatile Soft X-ray (VerSoX) beamline B07 at Diamond Light Source serves a very diverse user community studying heterogeneous catalysts, pharmaceuticals and biomaterials under realistic conditions, liquids and ices, and novel electronic, photonic and battery materials. The instrument facilitates studies of the near-surface chemical composition, electronic and geometric structure of a variety of samples using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and near-edge X-ray absorption fine-structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy in the photon energy range from 170 eV to 2800 eV. The beamline provides a resolving power hν/Δ(hν) > 5000 at a photon flux > 1010 photons s-1 over most of its energy range. By operating the optical elements in a low-pressure oxygen atmosphere, carbon contamination can be almost completely eliminated, which makes the beamline particularly suitable for carbon K-edge NEXAFS. The endstation can be operated at pressures up to 100 mbar, whereby XPS can be routinely performed up to 30 mbar. A selection of typical data demonstrates the capability of the instrument to analyse details of the surface composition of solid samples under ambient-pressure conditions using XPS and NEXAFS. In addition, it offers a convenient way of analysing the gas phase through X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Short XPS spectra can be measured at a time scale of tens of seconds. The shortest data acquisition times for NEXAFS are around 0.5 s per data point.
Keywords: X-ray absorption; ambient-pressure XPS; carbon contamination; catalysis; soft X-ray beamline.